The Note’s Must-Reads for Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

Jan 26, 2011 4:38am

Compiled by ABC News Digital News Associates and Desk Assistants CLAUDIA MORALES, JACQUELINE NG FERNANDEZ, JAYCE HENDERSON, MOLLY HUNTER AND ALYSSA PRY

STATE OF THE UNION:
ABC News’ Karen Travers: “State of the Union 2011: President Obama Calls for Bipartisanship on Jobs, Growth” In his first address to a divided Congress, President Obama implored both parties to work together to confront the nation's challenges and outlined a broad strategy for keeping America competitive and stimulating economic growth. The president spoke in front of an emboldened Republican Party and new House Republican majority that is deeply skeptical of his proposals for ways to boost the economy, create jobs and cut spending. LINK

ABC News’ Karen Travers: “Taking Stock of President Obama’s 2010 State of the Union Address” With his approval ratings on the upswingand a lame-duck Congressional session that turned out to be one of the most productive months of his presidency, the White House says Obama is expected to look forward in his State of the Union address tonight. President Obama heads to Capitol Hill for his State of the Union address tonight with some wind at his back — and perhaps more of a spring to his step than pundits would have predicted after the November midterms, which he called a "shellacking" for the Democrats. LINK

The New York Times’ Sheryl Gay Stolberg: “Obama Sees Global Fight for U.S. Jobs” President Obama challenged Americans on Tuesday night to unleash their creative spirit, set aside their partisan differences and come together around a common goal of outcompeting other nations in a rapidly shifting global economy. LINK

The Washington Post’s Lori Montgomery: “Analysis: President, GOP lawmakers agree on austerity, but will it create jobs?” After two years of federal spending to boost the economy, the ground has shifted decisively in Washington: On Tuesday night, the most pressing question was not whether to spend more to create jobs but whether to cut spending, deeply and now. LINK

Newsweek’s Howard Kurtz: “A Grownup Speech to Please Folks at Home, Not Pundits” The pundits weren’t crazy about the president’s speech: Too flat, they said, not enough applause lines, didn’t live up to the inspiration of Tucson. Well, maybe. State of the Union addresses tend to be too long and too programmatic. But President Obama gave a grownup speech, and folks at home tend to like those more than the scorecard-wielding pundits. LINK

The Wall Street Journal’s Jonathan Weisman and Janet Hook: “Obama: U.S. Must Compete” President Barack Obama used his State of the Union address Tuesday to ask the nation to meet the challenges of a global economy, framing what he called a competitiveness agenda that includes traditional Democratic proposals like increased education spending, alongside gestures to Republicans seeking deep budget cuts LINK

USA Today’s Mimi Hall: “Obama lauds education, technology in State of the Union address” Issuing a plea for a new era of American innovation, President Obama on Tuesday urged a politically divided Congress to invest in education and technology to help the nation compete in an exploding global marketplace. "At stake is whether new jobs and industries will take root in this country or somewhere else," Obama said in his second State of the Union Address. LINK

Bloomberg’s Mike Dorning: “Obama Ushers In Era of Divided Government With Appeal for Unity” President Barack Obama said the U.S. economy is “poised for progress” and called for new engines of growth with investments in education, technology and infrastructure even as he urged a partial freeze on government spending to rein in the deficit. LINK

Politico’s Glenn Thrush & Carrie Budoff Brown: “In bipartisan tones, Barack Obama challenges GOP” It sounded conciliatory, even friendly, brimming with the outward trappings of a shift to the center, but President Barack Obama’s 2011 State of the Union speech was at, its core, an unmistakably partisan challenge to congressional Republicans. Obama, facing a chamber full of Democrats and Republicans mingling together in a show of bipartisan comity, began by telling the new GOP majority in the House that “We will move forward together or not at all.”  LINK

The Boston Globe’s Mark Arsenault and Matt Viser: “Obama urges a freeze and shift in spending” President Obama last night outlined a broad agenda to help America “win the future’’ and boost the nation’s economic power with new jobs and less spending, continuing his shift to the political center in a State of the Union speech that stuck to optimistic and bipartisan themes. He called for extending to five years a proposed freeze on spending outside of the military and major social programs, while redirecting billions to jump-start transportation and energy projects and train new teachers. LINK

The Washington Time’s Stephen Dinan: “Lawmakers cross aisle to sit with adversaries during Obama speechCongress on Tuesday replaced the usual State of the Union partisan see-saw with the political version of Whack-a-Mole – scattered lawmakers standing and applauding amid their unmoved colleagues LINK

Daily News Thomas M DeFrank and Michael McAuliff: “President Obama Speaks of Unity, Arizona Shooting tragedy during State of the Union Address” President Obama put the emphasis on the "union" part in his annual speech to the nation on Tuesday night, as he called on Americans to "do big things" and "win the future. Delivering a State of the Union address with the murderous gunfire aimed at Tucson Rep. Gabrielle Giffords still raw in the national psyche, Obama declared Americans will not accept the harsh partisanship of the past two years. Obama also stressed the economy and jobs, mentioning the word 29 times in the speech. LINK

Daily News Richard Sisk: “State of the Union: Giffords’ team breaks Twitter silence for aide who will sit with Michelle Obama” Wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords rallied Tuesday for a shout-out to the intern who save her life – a young man who scored a seat next to First Lady Michelle Obama. "From the entire Giffords team: Happy 21st Birthday Daniel Hernandez! Sounds like you have fun plans tonight :)," Giffords' Twitter page blared ahead of President Obama's State of the Union address. Hernandez, who tended to Giffords in the moments after she was shot in the head during a shooting spree at a Tucson, Ariz., shopping center, rated a seat for his action next to the First Lady. LINK

ABC News Video: “Obama on Jobs: ‘The Future Is Ours to Win’”
ABC News Video: Innovation: ‘First Step in Winning the Future”

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