Obama: 'The State of the Union is strong'

Updated 7:15 AM ET, Wed January 21, 2015
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U.S. President Barack Obama finishes his State of the Union speech before members of Congress in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, January 20. Alex Wong/Getty Images
Obama made a pitch for economic populism in his speech, touting the improving economy on his watch. Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg/Getty Images
The President became the first to say the words "lesbian," "bisexual" and "transgender" in a State of the Union address. Rob Carr/Getty Images
Obama said policies he outlined in the speech favor the middle class, and that "middle-class economics works." Alex Wong/Getty Images
U.S. lawmakers pay tribute to the victims of the Paris terrorist attacks by holding up pencils during the speech. Mandel Ngan-Pool/Getty Images
Alan Gross, center, a U.S. contractor released from prison in Cuba last month, is applauded during the speech. Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images
"When what you're doing doesn't work for 50 years, it's time to try something new," Obama said of the United States' recent shift in Cuba policy. Mandel Ngan/Pool/AP
"It's now up to us to choose who we want to be over the next 15 years, and for decades to come," Obama said. Mandel Ngan/Pool/AP
Obama began his speech at 9:10 p.m. in front of a joint session of the House and Senate, declaring that "the shadow of crisis has passed, and the state of the union is strong." Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP
NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, center, is recognized by Obama during the speech. Kelly is preparing to spend a year on the International Space Station. Mandel Ngan/Pool/AP
Rep. Martin Heinrich, D-New Mexico, applauds Obama while surrounded by Republican members of Congress. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP
Obama spoke for about an hour. Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images
Obama acknowledges applause as he arrives to give his speech. House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, right, and Vice President Joe Biden applaud. J. Scott Applewhite/AP
The speech was Obama's penultimate State of the Union address. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP
Obama's speech was more than 6,000 words long. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP
Obama, speaks with Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer as he enters the House. Pete Marovich/Bloomberg/Getty Images
Obama greets members of Congress as he arrives at the House. Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images
First lady Michelle Obama, center, arrives for the State of the Union address. At right is Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP
Gross, who had been held in Cuba since 2009, and his wife, Judy Gross, at the speech. Alex Wong/Getty Images
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky awaits the State of the Union address. Mandel Ngan/Pool/AP