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Obama and the Partisan Divide24:03
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President Barack Obama addresses a joint session of Congress in the House Chamber of the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2009. (AP)
President Barack Obama addresses a joint session of Congress in the House Chamber of the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2009. (AP)

No George Bush, no scowling Dick Cheney, but smiling Joe Biden on the dais, and, at the podium, a young president with the highest public approval ratings since Ronald Reagan in his first month of office.

Obama was sober, he was hopeful, he laid out an agenda of startling ambition. But he still has to work it through America’s rugged politics. Rebuilding is going to take many hands, on both sides of the aisle, and that’s not easy.

This hour, On Point: we’ll get Republican and Democratic perspectives on the Obama agenda, and ask if it’s time for a bipartisan push to do the rebuilding — or if that is a pipe dream.

You can join the conversation. What did you hear in the President’s speech last night? Did you hear enough specifics? Enough hope? An answer to the crisis we’re in? And what about Governor Bobby Jindal’s Republican response?Guests:

John Harwood, political writer for The New York Times and chief Washington correspondent for CNBC. See his New York Times piece on President Obama's early "fiscal pivot."

Rep. Donna Edwards, Democratic Congresswoman from Maryland. She represents Maryland’s 4th District, which includes parts of Montgomery and St. George’s Counties, around the Beltway. She’s a lawyer and champion of progressive causes — a hero to her “netroots” backers. She’s in her first term in Congress, and she’s the first African-American woman to represent Maryland in Congress.

Rep. Michael Burgess, Republican Congressman representing Texas's 26th District, in the northern part of the state, including Fort Worth and most of Denton Country and parts of Tarrant, Cooke, and Dallas counties. A medical doctor (obstetrician), he joined Congress in 2003. He's a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and a strong opponent of the stimulus package.

This program aired on February 25, 2009.

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