US & Canada

State of the Union: Story of the night in 12 images

US President Barack Obama made a wide-ranging State of the Union address to Congress, setting out his political agenda on many fronts. But the story of the night can be distilled into these images.


Image copyright AP
Image caption Obama is greeted by a standing ovation - but Republicans stayed seated, and silent, much of the time
Image caption He called 2014 a "breakthrough year" for the economy, and said the "shadow of the crisis has passed"
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Michelle Obama's invited guests included the just-released Cuba prisoner Alan Gross behind her
Image caption Obama pledged to build on "middle class economics" by providing working families with extra help paid for by raising taxes on the wealthy
Image caption Foreign policy always plays second fiddle at this event but Obama said only 15,000 US troops remain in Iraq and Afghanistan
Image caption Obama mocked critics who last year said he should be more aggressive like Russian President Vladimir Putin
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption When Obama mentioned the Paris terror attacks, people waved pencils in honour of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists
Image caption State of the Unions are no longer the draw they once were on TV
Image caption Few of the plans are going to get through the Republican-controlled Congress, but Obama says election wins give him a mandate
Image caption How the speech was broken down by words
Image caption At just under an hour, this State of the Union will not go down as a record breaker
Image caption In the Republican rebuttal, Iowa Senator Joni Ernst talked about her own humble background and said her party would focus on Americans' concerns