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How Long Will Obama Talk Tonight?

Probably for longer than an episode of Scandal.
White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough (R) and Secretary of State John Kerry (2nd R) applaud President Barack Obama as he delivers the State of the Union address at the US Capitol in Washington on January 28, 2014.

White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough (R) and Secretary of State John Kerry (2nd R) applaud President Barack Obama as he delivers the State of the Union address at the US Capitol in Washington on January 28, 2014.

LARRY DOWNING/AFP/Getty Images

President Barack Obama will probably speak to Congress and the nation on Tuesday night for longer than an episode of Scandal, but for far less time than it will take the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks to settle Super Bowl XLIX.

Even as the White House struggles to capture the attention of screen-addled Americans, State of the Union addresses are getting longer. Obama's annual speeches to Congress run an average of 64 minutes, according to the University of California-Santa Barbara's American Presidency Project. Since Lyndon B. Johnson, only Bill Clinton has given longer addresses, with his average coming in at almost 75 minutes.