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President Obama's State Of The Union Address46:06
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The State of the Union.  President Obama makes his case. We talk about the President’s agenda, Congress, and the road ahead.

President Barack Obama, flanked by Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, gestures as he gives his State of the Union address during a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday Feb. 12, 2013. (AP)
President Barack Obama, flanked by Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, gestures as he gives his State of the Union address during a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday Feb. 12, 2013. (AP)

The state of the union is "stronger," President Obama said last night. No claim of full-on strong. But out of the "rubble of crisis," he said. And ready to roll — if... and then came his list.

Of measures he wants the government to take. Investments. Changes. To undergird growth and good lives. On education, innovation, immigration, the budget, climate change, gun violence, the minimum wage. Smart government, he said.

Republicans weren't buying last night. But we've got to do something, said the President.

This hour, On Point: the State of the Union.
-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Jon Meacham, executive editor at Random House. Former editor of Newsweek. Pulitzer-Prize-winning author. (@jmeacham)

Kristen Welker, White House correspondent for NBC News. (@kwelkernbc)

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From Tom's Reading List

The Washington Post "President Obama challenged Congress on Tuesday night to assist an American middle class squeezed by rising costs and stagnant wages, making clear that he will devote much of his second term to closing the income gap between rich and poor."

Bloomberg "President Barack Obama will announce in his State of the Union address tonight that about 34,000 U.S. troops will be home from Afghanistan by this time next year, cutting the military presence there by half. The U.S. will continue to reduce the number of military personnel through the end of 2014 as Afghans take full responsibility for their security and the U.S. role in the war comes to an end, the administration said in a statement distributed to reporters. Obama hasn’t made a decision about the timing of additional troop reductions."

CBS News "When the curtain rises on President Obama's State of the Union speech tonight, the White House wants it viewed as 'Act Two' - a follow-up to the national goals and policy objectives of which he spoke 22 days earlier on the West Front of the Capitol. 'The president has always viewed the two speeches, the inaugural address and the State of The Union, as two acts in the same play,' said press secretary Jay Carney yesterday."

This program aired on February 13, 2013.

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