Although TIME Magazine labels this article “Confident Republicans give Obama Frosty Reception”, the awkwardness of the evening comes through in the article, and it comes through on both sides of the aisle. Everyone in the chambers last night knew that we are at a crucial point in our history, where the “progressive” agenda that is a priority for certain members of both parties is now apparent and that the public is not going to allow the progressive movement. Everyone in that chamber knows that the People are watching, and are willing to hold them accountable.

From TIME:

Stand-up comics call it a “tough crowd,” but then tough crowds are part of their business. It’s a whole other matter to be met with cold stares when you are the President of the United States, talking in prime time before a joint session of Congress, when your own party controls both chambers by historic margins. (Read “Obama’s State of the Union Address: Five Ways to Judge Its Success.”)

President Obama spoke the first 676 words of his State of the Union Address Wednesday night before the first hand clap. His tone was so somber, and the room’s mood so grave, that no one moved when Obama said, “We must answer history’s call.” There were no ovations when he called for “Democrats and Republicans to work through our differences, to overcome the numbing weight of our problems.” He got no love for saying, “the worst of the storm has passed.” (See “Judging Obama’s First Year, Issue by Issue.”)

By the time he announced that, “We cut taxes for 8 million Americans paying for college,” Obama was forced to go off script. “I thought I’d get some applause on that one,” he said, looking over to the Republicans, who were sitting on their hands. There was some giggling, and some of them relented, offering the Congressional version of a golf clap.

So it went all night for the President, who a year ago came before the same body to announce, “Now is the time to act boldly and wisely.” That bold wisdom has, in the course of a year, been transformed into a much more qualified vision of something short of significant legislative failure. “To Democrats, I would remind you that we still have the largest majority in decades, and the people expect us to solve some problems, not run for the hills,” he said. (See pictures of Barack Obama’s first year in office.)

While the Democrats, at times, seemed to be considering the exits, the Republicans in the crowd handled the event with a renewed sense of confidence. A few minutes before Obama arrived, Republican Rep. Mike Pence stood in statuary hall, explaining why he had turned down a chance to run for Senate so that he could help lead Republicans back to power in the House. “This is a genuine, authentic, American movement,” he said of the political winds that had won Republicans state-wide races in New Jersey, Massachusetts and Virginia.

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