sealPurdue News

January 23, 2003

Expert can discuss State of the Union address

A Purdue University professor says the State of the Union address is not the speech a president is remembered for, but current events makes this year's address highly anticipated.

The president must explain what his degree of cooperation with the United Nations is in terms of waiting for a United Nations probe of Iraq and the removal of alleged weapons of mass destruction," says Hank Scheele, a communication professor who specializes in presidential communications. "He needs a compelling explanation of why action is necessary.

"This also is an opportunity for him to use some rhetoric to diffuse the growing movement that objects to America taking international action."

Even though international affairs may seem pressing, Scheele says the president must devote ample time on the state of the economy.

"He has to sell his domestic program," he says. "Less than 10 percent of the nation is interested in foreign affairs, and he needs to remember most are interested in their communities, finances, homes and jobs."

Scheele can talk with journalists about the State of the Union address before or after its delivery.

CONTACT: Scheele, (765) 494-3306,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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