Did Obama get his message across?

Historians in the News

(CNN) -- President Barack Obama delivered a 61-minute State of the Union address Tuesday with a new theme -- putting his emphasis on investing in making America's economy more competitive in a more challenging world.

"We need to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world," he said. Republicans, who took control of the House in the midterm elections, faulted the president for not focusing on cutting government spending to rein in deficits.

Analysts along the political spectrum gave varying assessments of Obama's speech:

Julian E. Zelizer, a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University who writes regularly for CNN.com:

With the State of the Union address, President Obama has attempted to shift the conversation away from the economic recession and toward economic revitalization. The aim of his message is a call to arms to join in a bipartisan project to improve the competitive position of the nation through innovation and smart investment....

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