1. The issues

  2. Obama covered a wealth of issues during his remarks Tuesday, including job training reform, healthcare and negotiations with Iran. 
  3. The president also took some time to discuss minimum wage rates and reiterated his promise to sign an executive order that would require federal contractors to pay their workers $10.10/hour. However, he went one step further in his advocacy for higher wages and encouraged Congress to "give America a raise."
  4. Flying solo

  5. Many of Obama's goals came with the same assertion: he will act without Congress if necessary. Years of political gridlock combined with last year's government shutdown likely contributed to his defiance, and the executive order on minimum wage seems to be the first test of a new kind of leadership.
  6. According to the New York Times, however, that attitude can only go so far, and "only so much can be delivered through the president’s pen if he is not using it to sign legislation."
  7. A touching finale

  8. To wrap up his speech, Obama told the story of Sgt. Cory Remsburg, a war hero who suffered traumatic brain damage during his 10th deployment in Afghanistan. 
  9. War Hero Cory Remsburg honored during State of the Union
  10. By sharing Remsburg's story, Obama seemed to illustrate a lesson for Americans on the importance of perseverance and community.
  11. Reaction

  12. Some praised Obama's remarks and the ideas he pushed forward.
  13. However, others were skeptical, particularly of his insistence to work without the help of Congress.
  14. Did you miss Tuesday's address?

  15. You can watch highlights here:
  16. Obama's State of the Union in Two Minutes