Tonight, President Barack Obama fulfills his annual constitutional requirement by holding the State of the Union Address.

In my lifetime, State of the Union addresses seem to be little more than politician pep rallies.  The Representatives and Senators in the same party of the President take every opportunity to stand up and cheer, while the opposing party 'golf-claps' at anything other than mentions of the economy and military.

Many pundits will say that the State of the Union address is vitally important for Obama and that he can already sway the 2012 elections with tonight's speech.  However, ABC News has a great article that came out a few days ago that quotes poll results from the past three decades:

An analysis of Gallup polling data over the last 35 years reveals that the State of the Union has little to no effect on presidential approval ratings.

So, with all of this in mind, why do insiders overemphasis the State of the Union?  In fact, I think the opposing party's response to the State of the Union has more impact than the State of the Union itself.  Remember when Bobby Jindal was trotted out by the GOP in 2009 to respond to Obama's first State of the Union?  His speech bombed and he hasn't been in the national spotlight since.

And, as I'm sitting in my office writing this blog, I get another e-mail from the Tea Party Express touting Rep. Michelle Bachmann's "Tea Party" response to the State of the Union.  Of course, Bachmann's speech will take place after the official GOP response which will be delivered by Rep. Paul Ryan on Wisconsin.  Dueling GOP responses to the President; that's a brilliant move (sarcasm).  All of this proves my point from the previous paragraph- the response to the State of the Union is more exciting than the State of the Union itself.

If you get worn out by all of this political posturing, you might want to read Chad Hasty's blog.  He takes more lighthearted approach to tonight's State of the Union Address.

Comments? Disagree?  Let me know in the comments section below.