President George W. Bush (R) is scheduled to give the annual State of the Union address at 9:00 tonight (EST) before a joint session of Congress. The speech will be aired on most television stations, as will the Democratic response to be delivered by Governor Tim Kaine (D-VA). I recommend watching C-SPAN for unfettered coverage of both.

The Constitution requires that the president report to Congress annually on the state of the union, but does not specify the method or form of this report. The in-person State of the Union address, a tradition since 1913, has become a platform for presidents to report on the current state of our nation and set policy goals for the coming year.

Bush is expected to deliver an upbeat address after a difficult year in which the President’s approval ratings—among both liberals and conservatives—have plummeted.