Obama Speech: The Applause Lines, The Laughs, The Cool Reactions
President Obama's address before Congress on Tuesday night was heavy on optimism, short on numbers, filled with lofty rhetoric and lined with emotion. It also was punctuated by repeated (and repeated, and repeated) interruptions for applause; some from the bipartisan chamber, some strictly from Democrats and one or two by a rowdy group of Republicans.
(The final count: Obama was interrupted 65 times for applause, according to Fox News, and received 37 standing ovations, reports the Australia Broadcasting Corporation.)
Here are some of the highlights.
BIPARTISAN APPLAUSE LINES
On Corporate Greed: "I intend to hold these banks fully accountable for the assistance they receive, and this time, they will have to clearly demonstrate how taxpayer dollars result in more lending for the American taxpayer. This time, CEOs won't be able to use taxpayer money to pad their paychecks or buy fancy drapes or disappear on a private jet. Those days are over."
On Economic Recovery: "I do not accept a future where the jobs and industries of tomorrow take root beyond our borders -- and I know you don't either. It is time for America to lead again."
On Health Care: "So let there be no doubt: health care reform cannot wait, it must not wait, and it will not wait another year."
On Education: "And dropping out of high school is no longer an option. It's not just quitting on yourself, it's quitting on your country -- and this country needs and values the talents of every American. That is why we will provide the support necessary for you to complete college and meet a new goal: by 2020, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world."
On Terrorism: "And with our friends and allies, we will forge a new and comprehensive strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan to defeat al Qaeda and combat extremism. Because I will not allow terrorists to plot against the American people from safe havens half a world away."
On Torture: "I can stand here tonight and say without exception or equivocation that the United States of America does not torture."
STRICTLY DEMOCRATIC APPLAUSE
On The Stimulus: "That's why I pushed for quick action. And tonight, I am grateful that this Congress delivered, and pleased to say that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is now law.
On S-CHIP: "When it was days old, this Congress passed a law to provide and protect health insurance for eleven million American children whose parents work full-time."
STRICTLY REPUBLICAN APPLAUSE
On The Deficit: "There is, of course, another responsibility we have to our children. And that is the responsibility to ensure that we do not pass on to them a debt they cannot pay."
At this point, Obama interjects: "See I know we can get some consensus in here."
FOLLOWED BY STRICTLY DEMOCRATIC APPLAUSE
Still On The Deficit: "With the deficit we inherited..."
FORCED REPUBLICAN APPLAUSE
On Tax Breaks: "But let me perfectly clear, because I know you'll hear the same old claims that rolling back these tax breaks means a massive tax increase on the American people: if your family earns less than $250,000 a year, you will not see your taxes increased a single dime."
On Supporting The Troops: "As we meet here tonight, our men and women in uniform stand watch abroad and more are readying to deploy. To each and every one of them, and to the families who bear the quiet burden of their absence, Americans are united in sending one message: we honor your service, we are inspired by your sacrifice, and you have our unyielding support."
On Bi-Partisanship: "I know that we haven't agreed on every issue thus far, and there are surely times in the future when we will part ways."
On The Vice President: "I have asked Vice President Biden to lead a tough, unprecedented oversight effort -- because nobody messes with Joe."
On Sacrifice: "Given these realities, everyone in this chamber -- Democrats and Republicans -- will have to sacrifice some worthy priorities for which there are no dollars. And that includes me."