Aside from the optimistic platitudes, soaring rhetoric and feel-good proposals, President Barack Obama's 2012 State of the Union address was overtly populist and unquestionably combative as he maps a path to a second term in 2013.
Obama’s speech included no shortage of appeals to unity, bipartisanship and overriding American purpose, and he articulated plenty of vague, popular-sounding policy goals, similarly to how Bill Clinton kicked off his 1996 campaign.
His central message, though, stressed a sharp and basic philosophical contrast with his ideological opponents, clearly forming the centerpiece of his reelection effort.
While Obama prevailed in 2008 as a change agent - a more progressive implementer of American ideals than his GOP opponents, certainly, but still a post-partisan uniter - he appears to be taking a dramatically different tack in 2012.
Can this new, 2012 version of Obama recapture the same campaign magic, however? Will independent voters return to him over the Republican alternative?
With approval ratings in the mid-40s, he's clearly banking on it, since this seemed in many respects a speech designed to align him with the "99 percent."
You tell us: President Obama in 2012?