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Duke Faculty 'Live Tweet' Obama's State of the Union Speech

Duke Faculty 'Live Tweet' Obama's State of the Union Speech

Twitter conversation shares their expertise and commentary with wider audience

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Durham, NC - Duke faculty experts got the jump on network television commentators Tuesday evening as they "live tweeted" President Obama's State of the Union speech.

Duke's Office of News and Communications organized the conversation at #DukeChat, linking to broader international discussion about the speech at #SOTU.

When the president opened his remarks with praise for American troops, Karla Holloway, a professor law and English, wrote: "Beginning w/military quite strategic. House cannot not applaud."

When he discussed health care, Don Taylor of the Sanford School of Public Policy wrote: "Need a deal on health reform that gives both parties some credit, & both parties responsibility for addressing health costs."

As the speech turned to tax reform, Sandy Darity, chair of Duke's African & African American Studies (AAAS) department, noted the "deafening silence on raising taxes on the super rich. Fascinating."

And when the President called for more manufacturing jobs, Natalie Jackson of Duke's Social Science Research Institute asked, "How many of the unemployed actually want manufacturing jobs? Not sure that's the solution for jobs."

Terrorism expert David Schanzer, religion professor Ebrahim Moosa, Maurice Wallace of AAAS and other Duke faculty also participated in the Twitter conversation, which included about 250 posts. Others watching the conversation online Internet added their own comments. A complete transcript is available.

"As a 'Twitter newbie," I found the experience interesting and enlightening," said political science professor Paula McClain, whose comments ranged from Obama's "tough talk on China" to how House Speaker John Boehner was reacting to the speech. "It was interesting to see how my view sometimes corresponded with those of my colleagues and at other times differed. I am definitely up for this again."

Marc Bellemare, an expert on international development at the Sanford School, was among several participants who were already active Twitter users. He signed off by writing: "And with that, good night moon, good night #SOTU #Dukechat. Thanks, it's been fun!"