“A week after the worst political setback of his presidency, Barack Obama used his first State of the Union address overnight to rally his party, talk up the struggling American economy and challenge Republicans to stop ‘just saying no’. Cheered on by Democrats who were yearning for a glimpse of the magic they saw in their President-elect a year ago, Mr Obama mounted a populist attack on Wall Street excess and responded to deep public anxiety over unemployment by demanding a new jobs bill ‘on my desk without delay’. He vowed to veto spending that would increase the ballooning deficit that has so enraged American voters, but at the same time refused to abandon his cherished – and expensive – goals for reforming US healthcare and investing heavily in clean energy. With his party still reeling from the loss of a crucial Massachusetts Senate seat, Mr Obama was forced to restate the soaring themes of his historic election victory in the language of a fighter. ‘We have finished a difficult year,’ he said. ‘We have come through a difficult decade. But a new year has come. A new decade stretches before us. We don’t quit. I don’t quit. Let’s seize this moment to start anew.’”
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