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President Obama uses his 1st speech to try to jolt presidency

President Obama uses his 1st speech to try to jolt presidency

President Barack Obama, fighting to recharge his embattled presidency, used his first State of the Union address to promise that he would get millions of Americans back to work even as he tackles the soaring U.S. deficit.
Obama also urged Congress in his speech Wednesday to press ahead with his health care overhaul, his top domestic priority, despite an electoral setback that seemed to derail his plans.
While declaring that "our union is strong," Obama warned the U.S. will struggle to keep up with other countries if it postpones fixes to health care, energy, education and more.
"Washington has been telling us to wait for decades, even as the problems have grown worse," he said. "Meanwhile, China's not waiting to revamp its economy. Germany's not waiting. India's not waiting."
The State of the Union speech is traditionally one of the most closely watched events on the U.S. political calendar. Presidents lay out their priorities for the year before both chambers of Congress and a nationwide TV audience of millions.
Obama's speech Wednesday was especially critical, coming one week after Republicans won the Massachusetts Senate seat long held by Democrat stalwart Edward M. Kennedy. Democrats were seen as losing the support of voters troubled by high unemployment, the huge federal deficit and the acrimony and behind-the-scenes dealmaking in Washington politics. That defeat could be ominous for Democrats ahead of the November congressional and gubernatorial elections. Democrats, especially those running for re-election in moderate or conservative states, may be more reluctant to follow the lead of Obama, whose popularity has fallen.
Obama said, "I campaigned on the promise of change, change we can believe in, the slogan went," he said. "And right now, I know there are many Americans who aren't sure if they still believe we can change or at least, that I can deliver it."


Updated : 2021-03-06 19:53 GMT+08:00