Jan 252011
Authors: McClatchy-Tribune

WASHINGTON –– Looking to boost the country’s slow economic recovery –– and his own political rebound –– President Barack Obama used his State of the Union Address Tuesday night to pitch an agenda that he said will create jobs and to portray himself as a leader above partisanship eager to work with the Republicans who share power.

It was Obama’s first chance to speak directly to the Republicans who seized control of the House of Representatives and increased their strength in the Senate with a landslide election in November, and he used it to try to frame the coming epic debate over the federal budget, national debt and the economy on his terms.

Speaking to a Congress with a Republican Speaker of the House over his shoulder for the first time, Obama paid heed to the 2010 elections. He insisted, though, that the country didn’t repudiate his Democrats so much as divide power.

“With their votes, the American people determined that governing will now be a shared responsibility between parties,” he said. “New laws will only pass with support from Democrats and Republicans. We will move forward together, or not at all –– for the challenges we face are bigger than party, and bigger than politics.”

“At stake right now is not who wins the next election _ after all, we just had an election,” Obama said in the prepared text of his address.

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