"One of my proudest possessions is the flag that the SEAL Team took with them on the mission to get bin Laden. On it are each of their names. Some may be Democrats. Some may be Republicans. But that doesn’t matter. Just like it didn’t matter that day in the Situation Room, when I sat next to Bob Gates – a man who was George Bush’s defense secretary; and Hillary Clinton, a woman who ran against me for president.
All that mattered that day was the mission. No one thought about politics. No one thought about themselves. One of the young men involved in the raid later told me that he didn’t deserve credit for the mission. It only succeeded, he said, because every single member of that unit did their job – the pilot who landed the helicopter that spun out of control; the translator who kept others from entering the compound; the troops who separated the women and children from the fight; the SEALs who charged up the stairs. More than that, the mission only succeeded because every member of that unit trusted each other – because you can’t charge up those stairs, into darkness and danger, unless you know that there’s someone behind you, watching your back.
So it is with America. Each time I look at that flag, I’m reminded that our destiny is stitched together like those fifty stars and those thirteen stripes. No one built this country on their own. This Nation is great because we built it together. This Nation is great because we worked as a team. This Nation is great because we get each other’s backs. And if we hold fast to that truth, in this moment of trial, there is no challenge too great; no mission too hard. As long as we’re joined in common purpose, as long as we maintain our common resolve, our journey moves forward, our future is hopeful, and the state of our Union will always be strong. "
This is how a real leader connects with his people.
The GOP's response was whining negativity with an idea or two that actually matched Mr. Obama's.
There is no one running for the GOP nomination who could have done anything as good as what President Obama did last night.
UPDATE (via dailykos):
Today's United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll showed Democrats with an 11-point lead over Republicans in a generic ballot question asked to registered voters. When asked if they would "rather see the Republicans keep control" of the House or see "the Democrats win enough seats to take over control of the House," 48 percent chose the Democrats, and 37 percent chose the GOP.
"91 percent of those who watched the speech approved of the proposals Mr. Obama put forth during his remarks. Only nine percent disapproved. Last year, 83 percent of viewers approved of Mr. Obama's State of the Union remarks.This year, 82 percent of those who watched the speech said they approve of the president's plans for the economy, up from 53 percent who approved before the speech. Eighty percent said they approved of Mr. Obama's plans for the deficit -- in contrast to 45 percent before the speech. Eighty-three percent approved of Mr. Obama's proposals regarding Afghanistan, which received only a 57 percent approval rating beforehand. "
(h/t Andrew Sullivan's blog)