January 2012 Puzzle Solution

Each excerpt from Obama's speech begins with a word from this traditional wedding vow:

...for BETTER or for WORSE, for RICHER or for POORER, in SICKNESS and in HEALTH, to LOVE and to CHERISH, from this day forward until DEATH do us PART

and describes a character from a movie that prominently features a wedding. The title, "State of the Union", can also be interpreted as "U.S. state in which the wedding (in the movie) takes place".

Reorder the excerpts by their first words and then take the first or last letter of each wedding state's postal code, according to whether the excerpt is left- or right-justified:

  • BETTER: Father of the Bride: CA
  • WORSE: The Philadelphia Story: PA
  • RICHER: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers: OR
  • POORER: My Big Fat Greek Wedding: IL
  • SICKNESS: In & Out: IN
  • HEALTH: Rachel Getting Married: CT
  • LOVE: Bridesmaids: WI
  • CHERISH: The Hangover: CA (although much of the movie takes place in Nevada, the wedding is in California)
  • DEATH: Sweet Home Alabama: AL
  • PART: My Best Friend's Wedding: IL

So the answer is APOLITICAL -- just like this puzzle, in the end!


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