U.S. President Barack Obama was known for his fluency in social media before he took office, and it appears he’s prepared to continue that tradition through the end of his presidency. The White House announced Saturday it will employ Genius, an online platform frequently used to break down the lyrics of songs, to offer an annotated version of Obama’s final State of the Union address, set for Tuesday.
The platform will “add a new layer of context and commentary” to the president’s remarks, the White House said, according to the Hill. Previous State of the Union speeches have already been loaded onto the Genius site, along with additional information, such as anecdotes and graphs.
— Brandon Wall (@Walldo) January 9, 2016
“Americans generally have a broad media diet,” the White House’s chief digital officer, Jason Goldman, told Wired. “We thought of Genius as an ideal platform to add additional color and additional content to the State of the Union from previous years.”
About a dozen White House staffers worked on the project, which features insights of top officials, such as Vice President Joe Biden. And the former head of speechwriting for the president, Jon Favreau, included an anecdote about what it was like writing Obama’s first State of the Union address.
— Nancy Scola (@nancyscola) January 9, 2016
Genius is an online platform that allows users to provide line-by-line annotation. Originally called Rap Genius, it was initially employed to draw out the meanings of rap lyrics, but expanded to include other types of content, including speeches and written pieces. Media organizations such as MSNBC have used it to annotate State of the Union speeches in the past.
In Obama’s address Tuesday, the president is expected to attempt to define his presidency, offer an assessment of how the country looks in 2016 and provide a vision of the nation’s future. He is also expected to try to push forward some initiatives he would like to see completed before the end of his presidency in January of next year.