"Under pressure from Republicans, President Obama offered a broad vision for solving the nation's long-term fiscal problems Wednesday. This was not a speech about dollars and cents as much as it was an appeal for Americans to think about what kind of country they want and how they define shared sacrifice.
"Obama's address left many questions unanswered, but there was no doubt that the president and his White House advisers regarded it as one of the most important political speeches he will make in his second two years in office. It was an effort to regain the offensive in a debate that will dominate budget negotiations for the rest of this year and will probably shape the choices voters will face in the 2012 presidential election.
"Obama appeared to have two goals in mind. First, he sought to demonstrate that he is serious about solving the debt and deficit problems that threaten the country's fiscal future. Second, he needed to prove to Democrats that he is prepared to take on the Republicans and fight for policies that his party has long stood for."