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President Obama delivers 2011 State of the Union (Photo: Jim Young, Reuters)
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6:15 PM PT: The president is now at the podium. Cute moment as he blows a kiss to the first lady.

6:16 PM PT: And as the president hands ceremonial copies of his speech to Speaker Boehner and Vice President Biden, here's the text.

6:19 PM PT: Paul Ryan really looks unhappy he's sitting on the floor.

6:20 PM PT: The heart of the speech: "It is our unfinished task to restore the basic bargain that built this country – the idea that if you work hard and meet your responsibilities, you can get ahead, no matter where you come from, what you look like, or who you love. It is our unfinished task to make sure that this government works on behalf of the many, and not just the few; that it encourages free enterprise, rewards individual initiative, and opens the doors of opportunity to every child across this great nation."

6:22 PM PT: Obama points out that the deficit has been shrinking—more than half of his $4 trillion goal has been achieved. Now he's talking about the sequester and says the challenge is how to finish the job.

6:24 PM PT: He says Medicare benefits and Social Security benefits can't be the entire focus of deficit and debt reduction. "Now, some in this Congress have proposed preventing only the defense cuts by making even bigger cuts to things like education and job training; Medicare and Social Security benefits." He says Medicare costs are a long-term problem, but there needs to be a balanced effort to reduce the deficit.

6:25 PM PT: "We can’t just cut our way to prosperity." The president then talks about his support for more reforms to bring down long-term Medicare costs.

6:26 PM PT: Obama even has Boehner applauding.

6:27 PM PT: I think some Republicans may have applauded this: "Now is our best chance for bipartisan, comprehensive tax reform that encourages job creation and helps bring down the deficit." I think they may want to rethink their applause unless that they are ready to seek more revenue from reform.

6:29 PM PT: President Obama has definitely got his swagger back. It's great to see. He's just sitting up there talking some sense.

6:31 PM PT (Kaili Joy Gray): New thread here.

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