Promoted from the diaries

President Obama ended the State of the Union address in a new way. He didn’t say, as tradition, “God bless you, and God bless these United States of America”

He said, “Thank you, God bless you, and God bless this country we love.”

A quick check on his prior SOTU speeches reveals he used the customary phrasing in past years:

2014: God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.

2013: “Thank you. God bless you, and God bless these United States of America”

2012: “Thank you. God bless you, and God bless these United States of America”

2011: ” Thank you. God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America. ”

2010: “Thank you. God bless you. And God bless the United States of America.”

What happened to “God bless the United States of America”?

(crossposted at taxpolitix.com)

Update #1: It is fairly standard for the President to end his speech this way, at least in modern times. Curious as to the reason for the shift. Here’s a little background comparison:

Presidents from Roosevelt to Carter did sometimes conclude their addresses by seeking God’s blessing, often using language such as ‘May God give us wisdom’ or ‘With God’s help.’ But they didn’t make a habit of it. In fact, five of the eight presidents during this period concluded this way in less than 30% of their speeches. Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson and Ford did so a bit more often, but still none of these presidents concluded even half of his addresses this way. Reagan, on the other hand, ended 90% of his major addresses by requesting divine guidance. George H.W. Bush also did so in 90% of his speeches, and Bill Clinton and George W. Bush followed suit 89% and 84% of the time, respectively.”

Update #2: Apparently, Joni Ernst said roughly the same thing. “”May God bless this great country of ours, the brave Americans serving in uniform on our behalf, and you, the hardworking men and women who make the United States of America the greatest nation the world has ever known.”

Was it a mirror to Obama’s ending? The custom, obviously, is not expected by others as it is by the President, which is why it was noticeable when Obama ended his speech. Thoughts?