He told recession-weary Americans they can expect better days ahead — and the message appears to have been well received.
Described by US media as “confident” and “reassuring,” Barack Obama has revived the “Yes, We Can” spirit of his campaign, in his first presidential address to a joint session of Congress. Senator Dick Durbin, Democrat from Illinois, said: “I thought it was one of the most powerful speeches I have heard from a president. He really understands this nation is troubled, worried, lacking in confidence and he started off by identifying with those problems facing America and then challenging us.” Obama was careful to include a sober assessment of the grim economic situation and his efforts to fix it, prompting a positive response from several opposition Republicans. “The President talked a lot about trying to address the financial system, the credit markets, get banks lending again,” said Congressman Eric Cantor of Virginia, the House Republican Whip. “These are the types of things that we have got to get together and do it quickly and first.” But it was not all pats on the back, as President Obama pledged the US would rebuild and recover, emerging stronger than before. Republican leaders attacked what they see as the high cost of his plans, saying they would saddle future generations with debt.