Though millions of Americans watched the televised speech, the president's ostensible audience was right in front of him - Congress. His relations with many Republican lawmakers are icy at best. And even his alliances with Democrats had been put under stress at times in the past year.
The lawmakers' responses to the speech ranged from predictable to somewhat surprised. NPR's Andrea Seabrook listened to lawmakers after the speech.
Mitt Romney has spent a lot of his time in Florida talking about home foreclosures. The housing crisis is one of the few problems that Romney can use to attack both his Republican rival Newt Gingrich and President Obama.
The text of President Obama's State of the Union address, as delivered:
Thank you. Thank you so much.
Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow Americans:
Last month, I went to Andrews Air Force Base and welcomed home some of our last troops to serve in Iraq. Together, we offered a final, proud salute to the colors under which more than a million of our fellow citizens fought — and several thousand gave their lives.
President Obama called for more domestic oil and gas production, saying that "a future where we're in control of our own energy" is within reach, where the nation's security and prosperity would not be so closely linked to unstable parts of the world.
Toward that end, he said his administration would open more than 75 percent of potential offshore oil and gas resources for development.
The president stressed that the country already has progressed toward energy independence and used less foreign oil last year "than in any of the past 16 years."
President Obama called for a "new national commitment" to train 2 million Americans with skills that will lead directly to a job. He singled out partnerships between businesses and community colleges. It was not the first time he's proposed this, though. Earlier in his administration he abandoned a $12 billion plan to help community colleges expand their training programs. It's not clear where the money for this "new" national commitment will come from.