In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Republicans were irked by President Barack Obama's caustic reminder in his State of the Union speech that he defeated them twice.

"I've run my last campaign," Obama said toward the end of the nationally televised address. Republicans in the chamber applauded derisively, which prompted the president to ad-lib a zinger which wasn't in his prepared remarks: "I know because I won both of them."

Democrats erupted with applause.

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President Barack Obama ended his State of the Union address Tuesday with a call for "a better politics." Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) followed with the formal Republican response and looked for "a little cooperation from the president" with the new Republican Congress.

But with their actual words, the stark differences between the executive and legislative branches remain crystal clear.

With memories of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio's water-grab and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's famously flat response still fresh, Ernst was crisp and clean, with nothing at all for the Internet cling to. She began with her personal story, a farm girl who worked at Hardee's and became an Army officer and U.S. senator.

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Barack Obama wants to mainline progressivism into the bloodstream of America the way Ronald Reagan ushered in a generation of conservatism.

That's the lofty goal of the president's penultimate State of the Union address on Tuesday night, as his senior aides tell it. He's stymied for the remainder of his presidency by a Republican Congress wedded to a Reaganesque mentality, but the White House views the recent spate of positive economic news as an opportunity for Obama to aggressively make the "long-term" case for embracing government as an agent to help the middle class.

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Sen. Joni Ernest (R-IA) will emphasize the Republican mandate from the midterm elections and the need for President Barack Obama to work with the new Congress in the formal GOP response to the State of the Union address, according to early excerpts of Ernst remarks.

"We heard the message you sent in November -- loud and clear," the remarks begin. "And now we’re getting to work to change the direction Washington has been taking our country.”

Ernst will single out trade legislation and tax reform as possible areas of agreement between Obama and Congress.

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President Barack Obama will seek to "turn the page" on the Great Recession and call for embracing "middle-class economics" in his State of the Union speech on Tuesday night at 9 p.m. Eastern Time, according to an excerpt of the remarks as prepared for delivery.

His speech will also touch on terrorism, American diplomacy and cyber-security.

Read the excerpts below, circulated by the White House:

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A conservative group is suing Dallas County, Texas, for allegedly discriminating against white people in violation of the Voting Rights Act. But the catch is that the 5-member county body they're suing about has a majority of white members. The problem, apparently, is that the board is majority Democratic.

"Like something out of the bad old days, a southern electoral body plays naked racial politics, intentionally using its power to minimize a dissenting race’s political sway," according to the lawsuit, filed last week in federal court by the Equal Voting Rights Institute on behalf of individual white plaintiffs.

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is downplaying expectations for a political fight over Social Security or Medicare in the new Congress.

"The only way to do entitlement eligibility changes is on a bipartisan basis," he said on Thursday at an annual Republican retreat in Hershey, Pa. "In terms of the Senate we do not intend to be offering unilateral, one party-only entitlement eligibility changes."

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Democrats need to gird for a new battle with Republicans over Social Security and be prepared not to yield any ground in defense of the program, one of the leading Democratic senators on the issue told TPM in an interview.

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee's Social Security subcommittee, said that Democrats shouldn't be willing to negotiate after House Republicans have stated outright that they want to pursue changes to the program.

Brown also expressed confidence that President Barack Obama would hold strong on Social Security, despite concerns among Social Security advocates that the president has shown a willingness to negotiate over the program in the past.

"We have a president who can use a veto pen and will eagerly do it on something like this," Brown said. He said his confidence in the White House's position "comes from discussions with them."

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