(CNN) - A strong and stirring close – a call to overcome cynicism and defeatism.
(CNN) - There it is. A call to end "don't ask, don't tell," framed in the promise enshrined in the Constitution, a new milestone of civil rights. It's not the end of this debate - not by a long shot - but our country has evolved a lot on this issue since Bill Clinton first raised it in 1993.
(CNN) - Introducing the section of his speech on national security, President Obama started by mentioning the way the unity we felt after 9/11 has dissipated and he criticized the partisan politics that is increasingly played on this front.
"I know that all of us love this country," Obama said.
Sad that it needed to be said, but it did.
(CNN) - President Obama said, "What frustrates the American people is a Washington where every day is Election Day." These words are aimed directly at independents.
(CNN) - Interesting – Obama just associated his efforts to restrain nuclear weapons with Ronald Reagan. Unexpected – but some of Reagan's policy advisers like Martin Anderson and Secretary of State George Schultz, now at the Hoover Institution, might agree. I wonder how this parallel will be greeted by the contemporary right and left.
(CNN) - The president campaigned on a return to fiscal responsibility. Independents broke with him on the unprecedented spending that came out of Congress amid the financial crisis last year. The executive order to create a bipartisan deficit panel – that the Senate cynically voted down yesterday – is a step in the right direction. But there's a lot more work to do to seriously restore credibility on this front.
(CNN) - It's not going to make many headlines, but it just sounded like President Obama now backs a trade agreement with Colombia. That's a step toward the center, in my book.
(CNN) - The elusive bipartisan applause barrier was finally broken with the Calvin Coolidge-echoing line: "The true engine of job creation in this country will always be America's businesses."
(CNN) - At the opening of his speech, President Obama offered a line that echoed his first campaign commercial – saying that "we are one nation, one people."
(CNN) - There's been a lot of talk about populism this year, and there's no question that independent voters are angry about partisan politics as usual. But their anger is directed at special interests on the right and the left, big business and big government.