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State of the Union Reactions

HOWARD MEGDAL: There is much that President Obama did well in tonight’s speech, though how much the speech succeeded will ultimately be determined by legislative action and the voters in 2010. But the most vital part of President Obama’s speech Wednesday night was placing the Democratic Party on the side of regulating Wall Street.

JESSICA BADER: The thing that struck me the most about Barack Obama’s first official State of the Union address was how comfortable, how in his element, he seemed while giving it. Even knowing what a gifted speaker the President is and the sense of calm he projects even when the going gets tough, I would have expected some amount of nervousness to seep through as he delivered this speech that will supposedly determine the fate of his presidency (at least until the pundits determine another pivotal moment to fixate on). Instead, he was witty and self-deprecating, not afraid to riff off of the reactions of the audience immediately in front of him even as he was explaining his agenda to the audience watching on a screen.

Like Obama has done throughout his time in the national spotlight, he found the right words, delivered them the right way and at just the right time. Continue reading

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