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Wednesday January 26, 2011 11:07 am

State of the Union: Done With the Past

Posted by K.C. Morgan Categories: Specials, Video,

For the second time in his presidency, President Barack Obama stood before the nation to deliver the State of the Union on Tuesday night. Many viewers had the option of skipping the speech because it was leaked online some two hours before the president took his podium. In the Information Age, nothing is sacred.

Obama opened by mentioning the Tucson tragedy, calling attention to the grim, empty seat within the chamber. But he quickly moved forward in the speech, talking at length about America’s greatness and spirit of innovation. It all felt a little empty … until Obama broke the ice with his first really great joke.

“I have heard rumors that a few of you still have concerns about our new health care law.” It came a little late into the speech, but it was the line that united the room. Laughter is much more heartfelt than forced applause, and at last the President of the United States was off and running.

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President Obama said that he wants to work with members of Congress to fix the problems they have with health care reform. “Instead of re-fighting battles … let’s fix what needs fixing and move forward.” His agenda includes bringing more clean energy to the country, replacing No Child Left Behind with educational reform that makes sense and reviewing government regulations to make budget cuts. He will begin bringing overseas troops home in July, and called for a new military that welcomes all.

The message of the day? The past is over, forgotten, finished -- and Obama won’t look back. “None of this will be easy. All of it will take time. And it will be harder, because we will argue about everything,” he promised. “As contentious, and frustrating and messy as our democracy can sometimes be, I know there isn’t a person here who would change places with any other nation on Earth.”



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