Page last updated at 21:12 GMT, Friday, 9 January 2009

Words that sum up Bush's America

George W Bush's State of the Union Address Wordmap

What words did George Bush use most during this eight-year presidency?

This word cloud focuses on the words he used in his eight State of the Union addresses, in which the president looks back at events from the previous 12 months and sets out his agenda for the coming year.

Transcripts of the eight speeches have been combined and the size of a word in the cloud is in proportion to its frequency in the speeches.

Common words, such as "in", "on", "of", "many" and "also" have been removed.

President Bush's additional speech before Congress in September 2001 following the 9/11 attacks has not been included.


The line graphs track the changes in frequency of particular words across the eight speeches.

They give an idea of what the president saw as the pressing issues at the beginning of each year.

War on terror

There is a dramatic change following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The president's concerns shift from domestic issues - the focus of his first address - to foreign policy and terrorism.

Afghanistan was a big issue for the president in 2002, later giving way to Iraq. More generalised references to "enemies" and "extremists" increase after 2006.


On domestic issues, references to taxes and budgets tail off as foreign policy and terrorism take centre stage.

The re-appearance of housing as an issue and talk of jobs and workers in President Bush's final address reflect growing concern about the health of the economy, even though uses of the word "economy" itself drop away.


Words associated with social issues drop sharply after Mr Bush's first address to Congress, as his administration focuses on the "war on terror" and the war in Iraq.

It is only in the election year of 2004 that this set of words appears as frequently as "terror" and "Iraq".

The most frequent of these words is "child" (or "children") perhaps reflecting the importance of education in President Bush's thinking, and legislation such as his "No Child Left Behind" programme for American schools.

Finally, in 2007, talk of health and insurance shows another late peak, briefly nudging above mentions of terror. However the word "Medicare", which started strongly in 2001, drops away.

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