Obama's State of The Union Address: A Handy Dandy Summary

ABC NewsI was excited to watch President Barack Obama's State of the Union address tonight, which was essentially a blueprint of his upcoming campaign for re-election. Judging from recent "preview" speeches he's given, Obama was expected to stick to a theme of fairness, and that's exactly what he did, opening his speech with this statement:

“We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well while a growing number of Americans barely get by, or we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot and everyone does their fair share and everyone plays by the same set of rules.”

Want to know what else Obama had to say on topics ranging from education to taxation to Iran, but don't have time to review a 1 1/2-hour presidential speech?

Never fear! I watched the entire address myself, and made note of all the high points.

Check them out after the jump -- then tell me how you think Obama did in the comments.

These are all direct quotes from President Obama's address:

American manufacturing

"We have a huge opportunity, at this moment, to bring manufacturing back. But we have to seize it."

"It is time to stop rewarding businesses that shift jobs overseas and start rewarding companies that create jobs right here in America. Send me these tax reforms and I will sign them right away.”

“Our workers are the most productive on earth, and if the playing field is leveled, I promise you. America will always win.”

"Join me in a national commitment to train two million Americans with skills that will lead directly to a job."

More from The Stir: President Obama's State of the Union Was Full of Lies & Delusions


“Give [schools] the resources to keep good teachers on the job and reward the best ones and in return, grant schools flexibility to teach with creativity and passion, to stop teaching to the test and to replace teachers who just aren’t helping kids learn. That’s a bargain worth making.”

"I am proposing that every state requires that all students stay in high school until they graduate or turn 18."

"At a time when Americans owe more in tuition debt than credit card debt, this congress needs to stop the interest rates on student loans from doubling in July."


"We should be working on comprehensive immigration reform right now."

"But if election year politics keeps me from working on a comprehensive plan, let’s at least agree to stop expelling responsible young people who want to staff our labs, start new businesses, defend our country. Send me a law that gives them the chance to earn their citizenship. I will sign it right away.”

Equal Pay for Women

“An economy built to last is one where we encourage the talent and ingenuity of every person in this country. That’s why women should earn equal pay for equal work.”

Energy Policy

"Nowhere is the promise of innovation greater than in American-made energy."

"Oil isn’t enough. This country needs an all-out, all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source of American energy, a strategy that’s cleaner, cheaper and full of new jobs."

"Because of federal investments, renewable energy use has nearly doubled. And thousands of Americans have jobs because of it."

"Building this new energy future should be just one part of a broader agenda to repair America’s infrastructure."

Housing Market

"I’m sending this Congress a plan that gives every responsible homeowner the chance to save about $3,000 a year on their mortgage."

More from The Stir: State of the Union: Let's Applaud the President

Wall Street

"Millions of Americans who work hard and play by the rules every day deserve a government and a financial system that do the same. It’s time to apply the same rules from top to bottom: No bailouts, no handouts, and no copouts."

"I will not go back to the days when Wall Street was allowed to play by its own set of rules."

“if you’re a big bank or financial institution, you must have a “living will” to detail exactly how you’ll pay the bills if you fail

Payroll Tax Cut

"Right now, our most immediate priority is stopping a tax hike on 160 million working Americans while the recovery is still fragile." 

"So let’s agree right here, right now: No side issues. No drama. Pass the payroll tax cut without delay."

Tax Rate

"Right now, Warren Buffett pays a lower tax rate than his secretary."

“Do we want to keep these tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans? Or do we want to keep our investments in everything else? Because if we’re serious about paying down our debt, we can’t do both.”

“If you make more than $1 million a year you should not pay less than 30 percent in taxes.”

"On the other hand, if you make under $250,000 a year, like 98% of American families, your taxes shouldn’t go up."

"We don't begrudge financial success in this country. We admire it."

Washington Infighting

"The divide between this city and the rest of the country is... bad—and it seems to get worse every year."

“None of these reforms can happen unless we also lower the temperature in this town.”

"With or without this Congress, I will keep taking actions that help the economy grow. But I can do a whole lot more with your help.”

More from The Stir: Tonight’s State of the Union Is the Perfect Place for Obama to Get His Brag On

Foreign Policy

"We will support policies that lead to strong and stable democracies and open markets, because tyranny is no match for liberty. And we will safeguard America’s own security against those who threaten our citizens, our friends, and our interests."


“America is determined to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon and I will take no options off the table to achieve that goal. But a peaceful resolution of this issue is still possible and far better.”


"Tonight, I’m proposing a Veterans Job Corps that will help our communities hire veterans as cops and firefighters."

Whether you read my cheat sheet or watched it yourself on television last night, what are your thoughts on what the President had to say?


Screen grab via ABC News

2012 election


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nonmember avatar KimberWidmer

Class warfare. Plain and simple. Capital gains taxes. Let's punish those who invest in business. With the banks so tight to loan any money how else will we build jobs!? Let's talk about how the president circumvents congress. Let's talk about the czars. "Clean energy?" We can't afford more Solyndra! Gah. We cannot afford 4 more years. It's time to stop blaming Bush and take some responsibility. Let's stop parading secretaries an acting like they care about the "little people." If I hear "fair" one more time I'm going to puke.

Dukiedog Dukiedog

I have an even shorter "Handy Dandy Summary"--All B.S.!


hotic... hoticedcoffee

Yup, class warfare.  Divisive rhetoric aimed at villifying successful people.  And, of course, making sure people see big, fat government as essential - he's going to 'level the playing field' so people can succeed - after all, we can't do it without his help!  All he needs is 4 more years, because of course, he can't possibly do anything right now because of Bush and it's not his fault and what did we expect when we were stupid enough to put him in office anyway??????

calif... californiagirl1

All of the issues began before he stepped in office so at least he's trying he may not be successful but I'm sure it's hard to run a country in the state it's in. I applaude Obama for trying at least people forget he's human running a very unbalanced country!

MSmit... MSmith5891

S.O.S. same old "stuff" - strap the new debt onto your back this morning with his newly added government programs! Our debt is ginormous now and all he is doing is adding to it! If he wanted to help the American people he would have by now. He won't even turn in a budget - if we don't turn in our taxes we get fined! The American people deserve to have Washington 'public servants' do their job and at least submit a budget but in 1,000 days - still no budget! SAD!!

nonmember avatar cindy

I think he's full of crap...we can't get this loser out of office quick enough...

jagam... jagamama0710

Tell me why this is bad?

"“If you make more than $1 million a year you should not pay less than 30 percent in taxes.”

"On the other hand, if you make under $250,000 a year, like 98% of American families, your taxes shouldn’t go up.""



Jenny... JennyG0929

Same shit, different president.

It's the small businesses that get screwed and it trickles down to the "middle class".I pay more in taxes than I take home just to keep our business running of 15 employees.

Worker's compensation is based on the overall salaries paid (no wonder employers want to pay as little as possible.

Unemployment insurance doubled for me (already costs $7k per employee) even though I've had 1 claim in 7 years. I have to pay it on my husband and myself even though we'd never be able to collect it if we closed down.

Liability insurance and medical premiums have skyrocketed.Bank fees are out of control, postage rates keep rising, think we can pass these on to a customer? Nope, they'll go somewhere else, so in order to keep my staff employed I have to take it up the ass.

count... country50gal

I agree with everything the president said.  I have to laugh at all of the richer people screaming class warfare.  In all reality, it is the middle class and poor people who should be screaming class warfare.  It is once again an example of how the republicans can twist and bastardise a issue to fit their selfish goals.  I am a Democrat.  I am also an investor.  If I make enough money to pay the higher taxes, then it is my duty as an American to pay my fair share.  So to all of you poor babies who make a lot of money in investments and are to stingy to be real citizens, my heart does not bleed for you.  The workers of this country are tired of you making a buck of their backs.

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