State of the Union punctuated by tough talk, odd reaction
In a State of the Union address (read full text here) that focused on the economic challenges crippling America and the political challenges that face Washington, President Barack Obama declared: "Despite our hardships, our union is strong."
The speech was punctuated by tough talk, hearty applause from both sides, and an odd reaction from one Supreme Court justice.
The president tried to reassure Americans that he understood their frustrations. He defended his decision to support continued bank bailouts as "necessary," but emphasized that no one was happy about the move. They were, he said, "about as popular as a root canal."
(Videos provided by ABC News. Click here to watch full speech at ABC News.)
He also worked hard to win support from the other side of the aisle, emphasizing his adoption of positions formerly favored by his 2008 opponent John McCain like a spending freeze to trim the deficit and earmark reform to encourage transparency in federal spending. In return, Republicans kept their promise to be polite, avoiding a repeat of the infamous "You lie!" moment from Obama's speech to Congress last year, they actually offered a substantial amount of warm applause.
Not everything was chummy between the president and the conservatives in the audience, though. Conservative Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito appeared quite aggravated when Obama attacked the Court for last week's decisions to overturn past precedents and allow more corporate money in elections. The camera caught Alito mouthing something like "not true" as Obama blasted the decision: