"There is an aggressiveness to his action and a willingness to recognize that he can use his political strength either to win in policy terms or political terms or maybe both fronts," Hart said. "Bottom line: The wind is at the president's back. The problems haven't changed or disappeared, but this is a more confident and politically sharp president right now."
Not surprisingly, Republicans see a different bottom line.
"It's not likely to produce much by way of legislative accomplishment," GOP strategist Gillespie said of the president's second term tone. "I suspect this speech will be in the rear view mirror pretty quickly."