Tonight on a special edition of 360° at 11 p.m. ET, we'll have all the angles on Pres. Obama's State of the Union address and the response from the GOP and Tea Party. Plus, an update on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords condition. A seat was symbolically left empty tonight in the House chamber in her honor.
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[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2011/images/01/25/c1main.obama.promises.02.gi.jpg caption="Pres. Obama gives the State of the Union address at 9 p.m. ET tonight." width=300 height=169]
Tonight during the State of the Union address Pres. Obama will rally lawmakers on Capitol Hill to help improve the U.S. economy.
"At stake is whether new jobs and industries take root in this country, or somewhere else. It's whether the hard work and industry of our people is rewarded," the President is expected to say according to prepared remarks released from the White House.
Pres. Obama will strike a positive tone about conditions on Wall Street and Main Street.
"We are poised for progress. Two years after the worst recession most of us have ever known, the stock market has come roaring back. Corporate profits are up. The economy is growing again," Mr. Obama will say the released excerpts show.
Don't miss the State of the Union address at 9 p.m. ET on CNN, followed by the GOP and Tea Party Express responses.
Republicans are calling on Pres. Obama to cut more spending to reduce the federal deficit.
"We look forward to tonight's State of the Union, but if history is our guide, most Republicans will probably agree... with 80 percent of what the President says," said Rep. Jeb Hernsaling, R-Texas, during a news conference on Capitol Hill this afternoon.
Despite the partisan issues, there will be a show of unity tonight. More than two dozen legislators will break from the traditional seating along party lines. Instead some Republicans and Democrats will sit next to each other.
The move comes after the shootings in Tuscon, Arizona that killed six people and wounded several others, including Democrat Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. In a symbolic move, the Arizona delegation will sit together but leave her seat empty.
Rep. Giffords intern Daniel Hernandez who rushed to help her after she was shot, and Dr. Peter Rhee, the trauma chief at University Medical Center where Giffords was treated will be among the special guests sitting with First Lady Michelle Obama.
During the GOP response, we've learned Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, will also talk about the Tucson tragedy.
"President Obama just addressed a Congressional chamber filled with many new faces. One face we did not see tonight was that of our friend and colleague, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona. We all miss Gabby and her cheerful spirit; and we are praying for her return to the House Chamber," Rep. Ryan's released excerpts show.
Ryan will also tackle the fiscal challenges ahead.
"Our nation is approaching a tipping point. We are at a moment, where if government's growth is left unchecked and
unchallenged, America's best century will be considered our past century."
Tea Party supporter Rep. Michele Bachmann is expected to take aim at Pres. Obama's fiscal moves during her response.
"After the $700 billion bailout, the trillion-dollar stimulus, and the massive budget bill with over 9,000 earmarks that the President signed, many of you implored Washington to please stop spending money we don't have. But, instead of cutting, we saw an unprecedented explosion of government spending and debt at President Obama's direction; unlike anything we have seen in the history of our country," Rep. Bachmann will say according to her prepared remarks.
As you watch the speeches let us know what you think of the messages. Share your thoughts below. And, we'll see you at 11 p.m. ET for complete analysis and an update on Rep. Giffords condition.
Ready for today's Beat 360°? Everyday we post a picture you provide the caption and our staff will join in too. Tune in tonight at 10pm to see if you are our favorite! Here is the 'Beat 360°' pic:
President Barack Obama walks through the Colonnade of the Rose Garden of the White House on January 25, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo credit: Roger L. Wollenberg-Pool/Getty Images)
Have fun with it. We're looking forward to your captions! Make sure to include your name, city, state (or country) so we can post your comment.
Update: Beat 360° Winners:
"That's it, Mr. President, walk right down the middle and you can see re-election from The Rose Garden."
"Obama shows he can 'walk the walk' and not just 'talk the talk'."
I flew into Zurich, Switzerland this morning, and then traveled two hours to Davos to attend the World Economic Forum (WEF). On the way, I learned Davos is Europe’s highest-altitude city. It is a small and remote place with only around 13,000 residents and only one road in and out. The WEF is a five-day meeting where 2,500 of the world’s top business leaders, heads of state, and public figures get together to try to solve the problems confronting the other nearly 7 billion of us.
It is a remarkable concentration of some of the best minds in business, technology and politics – all together in one remote destination. I can tell you, despite its high-profile attendees, the forum isn’t official or formal. Former President Clinton is just "Bill" here in Davos. There are no titles, and there are no fancy restaurants. Most of the attendees hang out in the cafeteria hall.
To be clear, though, there are two meetings going on here. After the panels are completed, there are dozens of private gatherings where some of the real work gets done. If you have heard of the Global Health Initiative, you may also know that Kofi Annan launched it at the 2002 annual meeting. The mission was to take advantage of the public/private partnerships towards combating malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. In 1989, North and South Korea spoke for the first time here at Davos.
Tom Foreman | BIO
Reporter's Note: President Obama has a great talent for speaking, which as I note in today's letter, brings a certain pitfall with it.
Dear Mr. President,
I made a dreadful mistake on my way up to New York for your State of the Union address. (I'm not talking about the fact that I left my office which is just a hefty stone's throw from the Capitol where you will speak to travel several hours north; frankly the explanation for that is too convoluted for either of us to waste any time on.) The mistake I made was choosing a seat on the train directly across from a woman who spent the entire trip chattering on her cell phone. Loudly. I kept thinking that certainly at some point her battery would have to grow weak and she would give up her filibuster, but boy was I wrong.
Mile after mile, hour after hour, she prattled away so that everyone within at least a twelve foot radius knew her business. It would be one thing if she did hits for the mob or worked in the phone sex trade, but she seemed to be some sort of mid-level functionary in either a department of the federal government or in a company that does almost all of its work for the government. She spent a lot of time yammering about regulations, and contracts, and asbestos, and Los Alamos.
You can imagine how scintillating that was. She could have been reading a report on historic humidity levels in the Azores and it would have been more interesting.
I really don't mind people taking care of their business in transit. In this day and time I guess a lot of us do that to one degree or another. But she just didn't seem to know when to quit.
The great comedian Flip Wilson did a bit about being onstage one night and everything was going so great that he forgot himself and "stayed on too long". The message in a nutshell was: No matter how good you are, there is a limit to how long people will listen before they start grumbling.
I had an art teacher in school who made sort of the same point. "The secret to a good painting," he said, "is knowing when to stop".
So take this letter as a note of caution. No matter how talented you are, no matter how important your message, people will listen only so long before it becomes noise. Pick a good spot to end, head for it, and when you get there, stop talking.
You may or may not convince people to support your positions, but at least you won't annoy the other passengers.
Good luck up there tonight. I'll be watching. And call afterward if you can.
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