(NEWSER) – We knew much of what he was going to say already—a focus on job creation to create a "thriving middle class," gun violence, immigration reform, and a quicker drawdown of US troops in Afghanistan, for starters—but President Obama still had a speech to give. Some highlights and odds and ends from the State of the Union address:
Read the prepared transcript at the Washington Post.
Obama wants to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $9 an hour by the end of 2015, reports the New York Times. "No one who works full time should have to live in poverty," he said.
Obama also called for a significant expansion inpreschool programs around the nation to make them available to every child.
Guns: Newtown made clear it's time for stricter background checks and restrictions on high-capacity ammunition magazines, said Obama. He singled out the parents of Hadiya Pendleton, the young girl recently killed in Chicago. "They deserve a vote," he said. "Gabby Giffords deserves a vote. The families of Newtown deserve a vote. The families of Aurora deserve a vote. The families of Oak Creek, and Tucson, and Blacksburg, and the countless other communities ripped open by gun violence—they deserve a simple vote."
Energy goal: Obama wants to cut in half the energy wasted by US homes and businesses over the next 20 years. For the record, Ted Nugent "seems to be in true pain during this climate change section," observes Slate's Dave Weigel.
After pushing infrastructure projects to create jobs, Obama added his annual joke: "And I know that you want these job-creating projects in your districts. I’ve seen you all at the ribbon-cuttings."
"The time has come to pass comprehensiveimmigration reform," said Obama, urging Congress to send him a bill soon.
Conservative justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and Antonin Scalia skipped the speech, notes Politico.
Here are the top words used during President Obama's State of The Union: