Every year at this time, the president delivers his State of the Union address to a special joint session of Congress. President Obama will do so Tuesday night at 9:00 PM. The usual fanfare will accompany the event. Teevee talking heads will begin gushing and gossiping as early as 6:00.
The U.S. Constitution divides our government into three branches: Executive, Legislative, and Judicial. The courts are the judicial branch. Congress is the Legislative, or law-making, branch. The president heads the Executive, or management branch. The cabinet departments manage the nation’s daily business under the president’s direction. The president is the nation’s chief executive officer, just like the CEO of a large corporation.
Eighteenth century communications weren’t quite as fast or thorough as they are today. So our founders required the president to report to Congress occasionally on how the nation was doing. Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution says:
He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient. . . .
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