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President Obama spent a little more than an hour last night trying to reach out to the new divided Congress in a State Of The Union that was long on centrism and, seemingly, short on division. But it's not clear Obama made the connection he was hoping to. Two high-profile members of the tea party freshman class on Capitol Hill told TPM after the speech that, while they appreciated the shift in rhetoric, they don't expect much to come from Obama's efforts to reach out to the right.

[TPM SLIDESHOW: 'Win The Future': President Obama's State Of The Union]

"Well, we'll see. We'll see," Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) said when I asked him if Obama had heard the message delivered by the voters in November. "Happy to hear him enforcing an earmark ban. Happy to hear about the possibility of simplifying the tax code and reducing the corporate tax rate. I was a little bit troubled and perplexed by what he means when he says all that and yet talks about new investment, investment, investment."

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Chris Matthews was nearly apoplectic in his questioning of Tea Party Express co-founder Sal Russo on the topic of Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and her controversial re-imagining of history where the founding fathers found a way to end slavery in their lifetime. Repeatedly calling Bachmann a "balloon head," Matthews demanded to know why Russo and the Tea Party wanted Bachmann to give a response to the State of the Union address or, more generally, why they ever wanted her to open her mouth in the first place?

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Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) isn't done yet -- she's headed back to the key first presidential caucus state of Iowa, for another visit after the one from this past month.

CNN reports:

The Republican congresswoman from neighboring Minnesota, who says she's considering a bid for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, will attend the March 23 Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators home-school day at the Iowa Capitol in Des Moines.

A Bachmann spokesman confirms to CNN that Bachmann will appear at the event.

"As a mother of 5 and foster mother to 23, as well as someone who homeschooled her children, Congresswoman Bachmann is a strong supporter of homeschooling and is looking forward to speaking to the group in Iowa," says Bachmann spokesman Doug Sachtleben.


Is she bringing the Iwo Jima photo?

Down to its smallest details, the Republican Study Committee's spending cut proposal exposes real rifts in the Republican party. While the GOP's basically fine with slashing arts funding, a lot of the items in that budget -- meant to imply liberal profligacy -- actually have significant Republican support.

For instance, the RSC plan would slash $150 million in spending on Essential Air Service -- a government program, which ensures small and rural communities continue to receive commercial airline service.

Flash back to 2007, and possible Republican presidential candidate, Sen. John Thune (R-SD) spearheaded an effort to restore such service to his constituents. "I am encouraged by the Senate's action to move this important legislation. Essential Air Service is just that, essential. It is essential to the people it serves and it is essential that the House of Representatives pass this legislation without modification so that we can restore commercial air service for Brookings," said Thune. "Ensuring access to communities like Brookings strengthens the local economy, provides consumers with choices, and makes the entire commercial airline network more valuable."

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To the dismay of groups hoping the White House would take the lead on proposed legislation to ban high-capacity extended magazines in the wake of the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), President Barack Obama did not mention gun control in his State of the Union address on Tuesday night.

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1||January 25, 2011: President Obama delivers his second State of the Union address before Congress, emphasizing the changes necessary to enable America to "win the future," a theme repeated multiple times throughout the speech. ||Jeff Malet/www.maletphoto.com&&

2||Obama referenced the recent shootings in Tucson in his speech: "Amid all the noise and passion and rancor of our public debate, Tucson reminded us that no matter who we are or where we come from, each of us is a part of something greater - something more consequential than party or political preference."||Jeff Malet/www.maletphoto.com&&

3||Seated in the front row, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz, and Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Robert Papp Jr.||Jeff Malet/www.maletphoto.com&&

4||||Jeff Malet/www.maletphoto.com&&

5||"Two years after the worst recession most of us have ever known, the stock market has come roaring back. Corporate profits are up. The economy is growing again," Obama said. But "these steps we've taken over the last two years may have broken the back of this recession - but to win the future, we'll need to take on challenges that have been decades in the making."||Jeff Malet/www.maletphoto.com&&

6||Seated together in the middle, from left, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), and Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX). ||Jeff Malet/www.maletphoto.com&&

7||From left: Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Sen. John Thune (R-SD), Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE), and Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA). ||Jeff Malet/www.maletphoto.com&&

8||Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH).||Jeff Malet/www.maletphoto.com&&

9||From left: Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) and Rep. John Lewis (D-GA). ||Jeff Malet/www.maletphoto.com&&

10||One of the ways to "win the future," Obama said, is through innovation. When the Soviet Union beat America into space with the launch of Sputnik, "we had no idea how we'd beat them to the moon. The science wasn't even there yet. NASA didn't exist. But after investing in better research and education, we didn't just surpass the Soviets, we unleashed a wave of innovation that created new industries and millions of new jobs." He added: "This is our generation's Sputnik moment." ||Jeff Malet/www.maletphoto.com&&

11|| ||Jeff Malet/www.maletphoto.com&&

12||From left: Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM), and Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT). ||Newscom/UPI&&

13||From left: Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.||Newscom/UPI&&

14||From left: Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA). ||Jeff Malet/www.maletphoto.com&&

15||About illegal immigration, Obama said "we should take [it] on, once and for all." He continued: "I am prepared to work with Republicans and Democrats to protect our borders, enforce our laws and address the millions of undocumented workers who are now living in the shadows. I know that debate will be difficult I know it will take time. But tonight, let's agree to make that effort."||Jeff Malet/www.maletphoto.com&&

16||"America has been the story of ordinary people who dared to dream. That's how we win the future," Obama concluded.||Jeff Malet/www.maletphoto.com&&

17||After the speech, Obama and Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) greet Attorney General Eric Holder.||Jeff Malet/www.maletphoto.com&&

18||Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and the President.||Jeff Malet/www.maletphoto.com&&

19||Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Obama.||Newscom/UPI&&

20||President Obama greets Chief Justice John Roberts. ||Newscom/KRT&&

21||House Speaker John Boehner bangs his gavel to mark the end of the State Of The Union. ||Jeff Malet/www.maletphoto.com&&

Shortly after the 2010 election, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) had to give up her short-lived campaign to join the Republican leadership as chair of the House GOP Conference. But drawing some lessons from John Milton, she seems to now be reigning in her own new capacity: As the leader of the Michele Bachmann Caucus.

Last night, Bachmann delivered her own response to the State of the Union address, following Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-WI) delivery of the actual, official GOP response. In her case, it was an address sponsored by the Tea Party Express group, a division of Our Country Deserves Better PAC.

Bachmann pulled out all the stops last night, invoking everything from the debunked assertion that there would now be "16,500 IRS agents in charge of policing President Obama's healthcare bill," to charts -- and even invoking the famous World War II photo Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima, purloining an icon that represents all Americans and turning it into a symbol of conservative policy.

The only thing she didn't do, of course, was look into the actual camera through which we the viewers were seeing her -- instead seeming to focus on a teleprompter that was way off to the side. (Hmm, maybe she should have written it on her hand instead?)

But that's not all!

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After Speech Obama And Republicans Face Budget Battle Reuters reports: "President Barack Obama and Republicans are headed for a fight over deficit reduction and spending cuts despite a conciliatory State of the Union speech that set the tone for a looming budget debate."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will depart the White House at 9:15 a.m. ET, and depart form Andrews Air Force Base at 9:30 a.m. ET, arriving at 11:35 a.m. ET in Green Bay, Wisconsin. He will tour Orion Energy Systems in Manitowoc at 12:35 p.m. ET, and deliver remarks on the economy at 1 p.m. ET. He will Skana Aluminum Company at 1:30 p.m. ET, and tour Tower Tech Systems at 2:50 p.m. ET. He will depart from Green Bay at 4:10 p.m. ET, arriving at Andrews Air Force Base at 6 p.m. ET, and back at the White House at 6:15 p.m. ET.

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Mike Huckabee is not in Kansas -- er, Arkansas -- anymore, but the former Governor from the Midwest still finds himself in somewhat strange territory as a new poll shows him tied with Mitt Romney atop the 2012 GOP field in a Northeastern state, New Jersey.

In the poll, both Huckabee and Romney drew the support of 18% of respondents. An additional 15% said Newt Gingrich was their first choice, while 14% went for Sarah Palin. Those four frontrunners were trailed by Ron Paul (8%), Tim Pawlenty (4%), Mitch Daniels (3%) and John Thune (2%).

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