State of the Union speech lights up Twitter with nearly 2M tweets

Equal pay for women and an increase in minimum wage spur the most tweets

President Obama's State of the Union address had people tweeting their support or their disdain and lighting up Twitter.

From the beginning of the president's speech to the end of the Republican response, Twitter logged 1.7 million tweets about the annual address. Members of Congress, who were in attendance, sent 750.

When Obama, talking about the need for women to receive equal pay, made a joke about the television show Mad Men, he said, "It's time to do away with workplace policies that belong in a "Mad Men" episode." That comment brought the most tweets per minutes of the night -- 33,555.

When the president said he would take executive action to increase the minimum wage for federal workers to $10.10, Twitter reported 29,859 tweets per minute.

Another big moment on Twitter came when Obama discussed the Affordable Care Act, bringing in 25,990 tweets per minute, while his comments about climate change garnered 22,768 tweets per minute.

"Throughout the night, Twitter served as both a spin room and a focus group, showing how elected officials, attendees, and citizens at home responded to the 2014 State of the Union," Twitter noted in a blog post.

The Obama administration didn't miss out on the Twitter action, either.

The @WhiteHouse handle shared quotes from the speech, as well as images and graphs to illustrate the key points, Twitter noted. The most re-tweeted quotes originially shared by @WhiteHouse, included, "How the son of a single mom can be President of the greatest nation on Earth."

Another heavily retweeted quote was, "Women make up about half our workforce. But they still make $0.77 for every $1 a man earns. That is wrong."

Twitter has become a mainstay social media player for politics. During the 2012 presidential debates, supporters of both candidates took to Twitter in huge numbers to sing the praises of their favorite candidate , denigrate the other and try to draw potential voters into their political camp.

During the first 2012 presidential debate, Twitter reported about 10 million tweets, making it the most tweeted U.S. political event ever. The second debate brought in more than 7.2 million tweets.

While the numbers are high, it's a far cry from the 2013 Super Bowl, which drove more than 24 million tweets about the game and half-time show.

This article, State of the Union speech lights up Twitter with nearly 2M tweets, was originally published at

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, on Google+ or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her email address is

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