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January 29th, 2010
10:12 AM ET

Is Obama trying to please everyone?

Drew Westen
Special to CNN

If last year President Obama had trouble pleasing anyone - he frustrated Democrats and Independents by seeming to come down repeatedly on the side of big business over ordinary Americans, whether the issue was health care or lending, and he frustrated Republicans by, well, being a Democrat - he finally got to please everyone in his State of the Union address Wednesday night.

He was amiable, funny, and feisty - the Barack Obama we all want to know and love.

For Democrats, the president put the Republicans on the spot a few times with some populist proposals (e.g., stricter regulations on Wall Street) that Republicans could respond to either by applauding, or by sitting on their hands while average Americans watched in consternation.

He told the story of how Bill Clinton had left the country with an enormous surplus that the Republicans had spun into a trillion-dollar deficit, with two unfunded wars, two unfunded rounds of tax cuts, and a big Medicare expansion to be paid for by the Medicare class of 2070.

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