A Few Surprises in Governors' State of the State Speeches

January 26, 2018

There has been plenty of pomp and circumstance, and even more long-windedness, as governors from coast to coast stepped to rostrums this month to deliver their annual State of the State addresses.

But amid the stock lines and the self-congratulations and the partisan digs were some noteworthy morsels.

From year to year and state to state, these addresses often sound the same. This time around, governors often opened with a lofty line about their state’s splendor — “Idaho is prosperous, positive and poised for even better times ahead” or Alabama’s “future is as bright as the sun over the Gulf” — or by noting dignitaries whom they were just so deeply honored to have in attendance.

There were somber moments, often to recognize a slain police officer or to mourn a deceased lawmaker. There were heartwarming anecdotes about a local college student or a military veteran or a disabled teen who had fallen on hard times but found brighter days thanks to the governor’s policies. And there were pledges of cooperation across party lines, even in places where that rarely happens.

As in most State of the State seasons, surprising moments were rare, but here were a few of them, hidden beneath the routine fare:

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