State of the President: 'Tough, Undaunted'

'Fire-breathing' Obama was impressive, writes Tom Shales
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 28, 2010 6:48 AM CST
Updated Jan 28, 2010 7:45 AM CST
President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address on Capitol Hill in Washington, yesterday.   (AP Photo/Tim Sloan, Pool)
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(Newser) – It wasn't quite "No More Mr. Nice Obama," but America did see a tougher President Obama than usual in last night's speech, writes Tom Shales. The president was "breathing fire" before the House and Senate members, acknowledging mistakes and disappointments over the last year, but refusing to "whimper or express regret," Shales notes in the Washington Post.

Obama was deadly serious on the issues that vex him, but added a healthy dose of self-mockery, saying: "It should be fairly obvious that I didn't take on health care because it was good politics." He told the audience that Americans—and himself—"don't quit" in the speech's stirring conclusion. "As a persuasive political speaker, he's got no serious competition," Shales concludes.

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