Patterns Blog

Let’s find the repeated phrases in the US State of the Union speeches by Obama in 2011 and by Trump in 2019. I distilled the repeated phrases by deleting generic phrases like “the” and “and the”.

Here are Obama’s patterns:

Count	Phrase
492	.
354	,
30	people
9	years,
8	, 000
8	come from
6	Democrats and Republicans
6	the world.
6	win the future
5	We need to
4	And tonight,
4	men and women
4	of our people
4	the future.
4	to win the
3	I might not
3	Of course,
3	So tonight,
3	We may have
3	a part of
3	a small business
3	against us.
3	believe in the
3	deserve to know
75	( Applause. )
4	Im not willing to
3	Race to the Top
3	That dream is why
3	do big things.
3	in the world.
3	to win the future
3	win the future.
2	As we speak,
2	Democrats and Republicans to
2	I am prepared to
2	I dont know if
2	United States of America
2	We need to teach
2	a government thats more
2	al Qaeda and their
2	be the first to
2	lets make sure that
2	men and women who
2	of our people.
2	of our time.
2	of the past.
2	than we do.
2	the men and women
2	the next five years
2	the winner of the
2	to our deficit.
2	we also have to
2	what sets us apart
4	over the last two years
2	I will veto it.
2	I'm not willing to do
2	I'm not willing to tell
2	We do big things.
2	all across the country.
2	different agencies that deal with
2	it will take time.
2	the home to the worlds
3	step in winning the future is
2	do big things. ( Applause. )
2	in the world. ( Applause. )
2	nation on Earth. ( Applause. )
2	you want to make a difference in the life of

Here are Trump’s patterns:

Count	Phrase
319	,
285	.
89	our
80	we
28	American
21	years
17	country
15	. [ applause ]
15	we must
18	United States
8	the Congress
5	our southern border
3	First Step Act [reformed sentencing laws]
3	than ever before
3	the exact same
3	the fight against
3	the world.
3	to defend our
3	Gerald and Sharon [80 year olds killed by illegal alien]
2	you to choose greatness.
2	areas between our ports of entry
2	to create an immigration system that
2	I am asking the Congress to pass legislation

Obama speech is longer. He uses more periods than commas. The reverse is true for Trump. In general, Obama has more repeated phrases, especially at the end of sentences. His style is more lyrical. Trumps phrasing is more ordinary.

Six times Obama repeats “Democrats and Republicans”. One time Trump says “Republican and Democrats”, no repeats.

The phrase “the world” is repeated 6 times by Obama and 3 times by Trump.

For Obama, 75 applauses were recorded. For Trump, 15 applauses were recorded. Obama has 5 times as many applauses as Trump.

The longest repeated phrases are interesting. Obama repeats this phrase “you want to make a difference in the life of”, and applies it to children and the US. Trump repeats the ordinary “I am asking the Congress to pass legislation”.

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