Presidents often characterize the state of the union as "strong." Last year, in fact, President Obama remarked: "It is you, our citizens, who make the state of our union strong."
It seems whatever the crisis du jour is, the State of the Union address is a chance for the president to sneak in some optimism. In 2012, as the economy limped back, Obama still found occasion for the s-word: "The state of our union is getting stronger. And we've come too far to turn back now."