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National Journal Defends State of the Union Leak: ‘It Was News, So We Moved It’

Publication obtains address from ”Democratic“ insider, then skirts White House embargo; issue underscores the fact that in the WikiLeaks Age, even the President can’t control the flow of information

The National Journal is defending its decision to publish the full transcript of President Barack Obama's State of the Union address about two hours before its scheduled delivery Tuesday.

According to the National Journal spokesperson, the publication received the transcript from "a trusted source."

"Recognizing the clear news of that, we moved it," she added.

The publication said it obtained the full text of Obama's speech "from a Democratic insider who declined to be identified because the source would be violating the White House's embargo."

The spokesperson said the publication posted the speech at 7:14 p.m. ET, a full 40 minutes earlier than the White House released it.

The White House usually does not release the speech until about 10 minutes before it's set to be delivered by the President.

Calls by TheWrap to the White House have not yet been returned.

TheWrap has been unable thus far to determine when, if ever, a full State of the Union speech has been published prior to its delivery or press-embargo time.

"We're not aware of any (previous similar circumstance) either," noted the Journal spokesperson.

One thing seems certain: In the age of WikiLeaks and digital distribution, the leak underscores how difficult it is – even for the President — to control the flow of information.

Obama began delivering his address at 9 p.m. (ET).

Below is the beginning of the president's planned remarks, according to the Journal's copy:

"Tonight, I want to begin by congratulating the men and women of the 112th Congress, as well as your new speaker, John Boehner. And as we mark this occasion, we are also mindful of the empty chair in this Chamber, and pray for the health of our colleague — and our friend — Gabby Giffords.

It’s no secret that those of us here tonight have had our differences over the last two years. The debates have been contentious; we have fought fiercely for our beliefs. And that’s a good thing. That’s what a robust democracy demands. That’s what helps set us apart as a nation.

But there’s a reason the tragedy in Tucson gave us pause. Amid all the noise and passions and rancor of our public debate, Tucson reminded us that no matter who we are or where we come from, each of us is a part of something greater — something more consequential than party or political preference.

We are part of the American family. We believe that in a country where every race and faith and point of view can be found, we are still bound together as one people; that we share common hopes and a common creed; that the dreams of a little girl in Tucson are not so different than those of our own children, and that they all deserve the chance to be fulfilled.

That, too, is what sets us apart as a nation."

Read the rest here.

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