The 10 most memorable moments in Obama’s State of the Union (VIDEO)

February 13, 2013

President Obama's fourth State of the Union address is now history.

In a speech that clocked in at just about an hour, the president addressed a range of issues, from the economy to  education, foreign policy, gun control, immigration, and the role of government, to name a few. Below, we look at the most memorable moments in his address. (If you missed the speech and want a quick recap, check out the State of the Union in two minutes here).

* Obama quotes JFK: The president began his address with with a quote from the nation's 35th president.

* Jobs, jobs, jobs: Much of the speech was focused, in general terms, on the economy and job creation. Obama also called for raising the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour. Here, he unveiled a proposal to spur growth of manufacturing jobs.

* The deficit: The topic was an early focal point of the speech, with Obama declaring that "deficit reduction alone is not an economic plan," and asked, "Why is it that deficit reduction is a big emergency, justifying making cuts in Social Security benefits, but not closing some loopholes?" Obama nonetheless declared: "Nothing I’m proposing tonight should increase our deficit by a single dime."

* In closing, an emphasis on gun control: Obama saved gun control for the end of his speech, seeking to offer a forceful call to pass new measures. (One notable point: While Obama referenced "weapons of war," he didn't specifically mention the proposed assault weapons ban -- which will be tough to pass -- by name.)

* A government for the many, not the few: Obama laid out his philosophical view that "it is our unfinished task to make sure that this government works on behalf of the many, and not just the few."

* Elevating the issue of climate change: The president signaled that he will continue to press for action to confront climate change, even as it remains one of the most politically sensitive topics in Congress. If Congress doesn't act soon, Obama said, he will take executive action. He may have to, since it could be difficult to  garner support, even from some members of his own party.

* "By the end of next year, our war in Afghanistan will be over": The president announced that 34,000 troops will return from Afghanistan over the next year.

* Keeping up pressure for immigration reform: "Real reform means establishing a responsible pathway to earned citizenship," Obama said, as he sought to rally support, declaring: "Let's get this done."

* "What makes you a man isn’t the ability to conceive a child, it’s having the courage to raise one": This line earned Obama a standing ovation.

* Voting rights: In a speech with a notable focus on voting rights, Obama closed with a nod to a 102 year-old woman who waited in line hours to vote. "And as time ticked by, her concern was not with her tired body or aching feet, but whether folks like her would get to have their say," Obama said.

* The GOP response and Rubio's water bottle moment: Okay, this is actually moment #11, but we'd be remiss if we didn't include a development that will no doubt be talked about a lot in the coming days, even though it wasn't in Obama's speech. We're talking about Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) reaching over for some water during his official response. (The Fix's Aaron Blake took a closer look at the substance of Florida Republican senator's response, in which he sought to distance himself from Mitt Romney.)

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.
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