In his first State of the Union address, President Obama waded directly into the financial crisis and the partisan mire of Capitol Hill in tonight’s wide-ranging speech. Obama said the US economy is still struggling, but “the worst of the storm has passed.” And, he urged the members of Congress who made up his audience, “overcome the numbing weight of our politics.”
Obama hailed the $787 billion stimulus plan as a success, but called for a new jobs bill, and urged money Wall Street's big banks have repaid from the federal bailout to go to smaller banks, in order to drive investment in community-based small businesses. He demanded that health reform get done, and needled congressional Republicans for standing in the way. But he ended on a hopeful note: "We don't quit. I don't quit. Let's seize this moment—to start anew, to carry the dream forward, and to strengthen our union once more."