President Barack Obama has sought to reassure Americans worried about jobs and the economy in his first State of the Union address.
In what was billed as his most crucial speech yet, it was his chance to re-connect with Main Street voters, to show he understood the pain ordinary people are experiencing in the current financial climate.
“Jobs must be the number one focus in 2010 and that’s why I am calling on a new jobs bill tonight,” said Obama.
Playing to the gallery, Obama also pledged help with college costs included in new Education legislation.
“Let’s invest in our people without leaving them a mountain of debt. Let’s meet our responsibility to the citizens who sent us here, let’s try common sense.”
Although stinging from the recent Massachusetts defeat and the loss of his super majority in the Senate, Obama remained adamant he wanted to deliver on his controversial healthcare reforms. He asked Congress not to walk away from reform when they were so close to getting it done.
Given his low popularity ratings, Obama could have been expected to set out a less ambitious programme for his second year in office. Instead he put forward an extensive agenda in both domestic and foreign policy.