Obama's 'Jedi mind trick' and a revealing admission
It was unlike any State of the Union address that President Obama has delivered before. Instead of a laundry list of legislative goals, this speech was about defending his achievements and articulating what he wants his legacy to be.
That, of course, was a highly political task and there were plenty of thinly veiled attacks on his Republican opponents and Donald Trump in particular - although he was never mentioned by name.
But near the end of the speech, Mr Obama also spoke about Washington's hyperpartisan politics - and took some personal blame for the division and dysfunction it has led to.
"It's one of the few regrets of my presidency - that the rancour and suspicion between the parties has gotten worse instead of better," he said.
"There's no doubt a president with the gifts of Lincoln or Roosevelt might have better bridged the divide, and I guarantee I'll keep trying to be better so long as I hold this office."
This was the hopeful Obama of 2008, tempered by the realities of two terms in the White House.
The candidate who promised to break down the barriers between red states and blue states has found it is harder to make purple than he thought.
And perhaps that moment of candour was contagious. Moments after the speech ended I spoke with Republican congressman Luke Messer of Indiana.
Yes, he dismissed the president's vision of today's US as a "great Jedi mind trick" played on the American people. But he also accepted that his party's rhetoric often did not help lead to solutions either.
As Stu Rothenburg, joining me in the BBC's Washington studio for post-speech analysis, put it, the admission was both rare and revealing. How long it lasts is another matter.