Watch CNN.com Live for continuing coverage of the conflict in Libya and the nuclear crisis in Japan.
Today's programming highlights...
11:45 am ET - Biden speaks out on school violence - Vice President Joe Biden discusses violence against women at schools and college campuses during a visit to the University of New Hampshire.¬† He may also bring up President Obama's re-election announcement.
Watch CNN.com Live for continuing coverage of the conflict in Libya and the nuclear crisis in Japan.¬†
Today's programming highlights...
10:00 am ET - Wartime contracting hearing - Federal contracting is the subject of a Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan hearing in Washington.¬† The commission will look at Pentagon efforts toward saving money on contracting.
1982: Groundbreaking at Vietnam Memorial – On March 27th 1982 a group of 125 veterans gathered between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument to break ground at the future site of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Vietnam veteran Jan Scruggs spearheaded the movement to lobby congress and raise money through private funds to build the memorial. The black granite wall holds the names of 58,267 men and women who were killed or remain missing in action.
Review of Obama's speech – If you missed President Barack Obama's speech to the nation Tuesday night, here's a full transcript and video. The president touched on many familiar themes, and CNN's iReporters tried to sum up all his points in a single tweet.
How about the "economy"? Obama said it's headed in the right direction but the country's priorities should change, especially when it comes to spending. The president called for increasing investments in key areas such as education and clean energy, but he also wants to make reductions in spending to help get America's deficit under control and proposed a five-year domestic spending freeze.
During another portion of the speech, he highlighted a small-business owner, describing the man's story as a symbol of the American dream. Obama also spoke of U.S.¬†Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who is recovering from a gunshot wound to the head after a gunman's rampage at a political¬†meet-and-greet this month¬†in Tucson, Arizona.¬†The congresswoman's¬†name was met with applause.
On Wednesday, the president will take his message on the road, discussing opportunities for job growth in clean energy during a stop in Wisconsin.
Here is a selection of reactions to President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech to Congress on Tuesday night in Washington:
It was light on applause lines and suffused with a grim subtext: our competitors are gaining on us. Obama's task was to acknowledge the status anxiety sweeping across the U.S., identify the problems causing it, and map out a plan to solidify America's place in the world. ... The theme of the address was the way to "win the future," a slogan that sounds cooked up in a corporate boardroom. It may have been a nod to our hunger for digestible sound bites or a recognition that plenty of Obama's opponents remain unconvinced that he believes in American exceptionalism. But it was also a clear message that "the rules have changed," as Obama said. To the president, American exceptionalism is no longer a matter of Manifest Destiny, but a status secured with hard work, smart choices and grit.
The mingled seating of Democratic and Republican members of Congress, a symbolic show of a renewed commitment to bipartisanship, eliminated the tribal practice of one party sitting on its hands while the other stands and applauds, and it was an immense benefit to the president. The viewing television public saw a stream of cut-aways framing prominent Democrats and Republicans, side-by-side, clapping for the same words. The speech itself transcended party lines as well, including nearly 90% ¬†that could have been penned by a GOP leader – or by Bill Clinton, at his center-grabbing best. For the tens of millions of Americans who want Beltway residents to get along and get things done, it was the apex of bipartisan promise since the aftermath of September 11, 2001.
China and U.S. talk – President Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao will have much to discuss¬†during their meeting Wednesday, including human rights in China, trade between the nations, and the role of North Korea. They'll also talk about currency controls. The People's Bank of China has been accused of artificially undervaluing the yuan to reduce the cost of Chinese exports, which gives China an advantage in the international market.
Jintao is in the U.S. for three days and will also meet with legislators and top business executives. He'll¬†visit Chicago before heading home. There will be a joint news conference¬†this afternoon and a state dinner at the White House this evening, the first for¬†China since Bill Clinton was in office. Whether the two leaders will find common ground is anyone's guess, especially considering that today's China is such a mixture of modernity and old-world ways.
Vote on health care repeal – The House is scheduled to vote on¬†repealing health care reform. Representatives are expected to pass the measure, but there's¬†little chance the law will be repealed in the¬†Democratic-controlled Senate. President Obama¬†has¬†said that¬†the law can be improved, but it should not be quashed altogether.
Senate Democrats anxious to reign in what they consider abuse of the filibuster by Senate Republicans will formally propose changes Wednesday to how and when senators can use the stalling tactic.¬†
However, Senate leaders¬†will postpone votes on the proposals until late January at the earliest as they negotiate possible compromises to the politically contentious issue, according to Senate leadership aides from both parties.
Frustrated by Republicans‚Äô escalating use of the filibuster to stall routine legislation and nominations, a group of Senate Democrats is trying to build support for a wide range of proposed changes that would curb the use of filibusters but not ban them entirely.
When the Senate convenes Wednesday, Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico will introduce one or more proposed changes.¬† Typically, a Senate rule change requires a super majority of 67 yes votes, something that will be difficult for Democrats, with their narrow 53-seat majority, to achieve.¬† However, on the first legislative day of a new Congress, a simple majority of senators, just 51 votes, can approve new rules.
The U.S. Senate should open debate Monday on a tax compromise reached by President Obama and Republicans, but some Democrats in the House want to change the deal, one of the party's leaders said. Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, who heads the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said the package will get a House vote despite a threat by Democrats to prevent it from reaching the floor. Last week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid released the first version of legislation on the negotiated deal. The package combines extended Bush-era tax cuts with extended unemployment benefits, tax breaks and a payroll tax holiday intended to bolster a sluggish recovery from an economic recession.
Road to 2012 – Wednesday belongs to Republicans. The¬†GOP¬†knocked Democrats out of at least 10 governorships on Tuesday and¬†grabbed the majority in the House¬†by winning at least 60 seats. That means John Boehner is likely to be¬†the next speaker of the House, and¬†President Obama called to congratulate him.¬†Democrats held on to¬†power in the Senate, with Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada¬†beating Tea Party-backed candidate Sharron Angle. The day¬†brought victory for¬†some other¬†Tea Party-backed candidates, but¬†the winning¬†group did not include¬†Christine O'Donnell, who lost to Democrat¬†Chris Coons¬†in the contest for¬†the Senate seat vacated¬†by Vice President Joe Biden.
But what everyone is really talking about is two years away. The race to 2012 begins today.
Jobs – The victorious vibes¬†are already transitioning into pressure to deliver. Voters are concerned about the¬†economy, and¬†the burden is¬†on those elected Tuesday to deal with it. According to the outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas,¬†employers announced nearly 38,000 job cuts last month. In a separate report, payroll processor ADP says private-sector jobs increased by 43,000 in October. Economists are predicting steady growth, which could improve Obama's chances of holding onto his job.
Shipping and terror¬†– With the new focus on safety in package shipments, Greece suspended air shipments of all mail and packages for 48 hours due to¬†parcel bombs mailed from Athens this week. Packages were sent on Tuesday to the leaders of Germany and Italy. At least nine other bombs were sent to embassies in Athens. Authorities in Europe¬†are scrambling to safeguard the public. One aviation chief is calling for a complete security overhaul within the industry.
Projections are based on CNN analysis of exit poll data:
Former California Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown has defeated Republican Meg Whitman in the race for California governor, CNN projects. Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is term-limited.
California Democratic incumbent Sen. Barbara Boxer has won a fourth term in the Senate, CNN projects, beating out GOP nominee Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard and adviser to John McCain's presidential campaign in 2008.
Democratic incumbent Sen. Daniel Inouye has defeated Republican Cam Cavasso to retain his Hawaii Senate seat, CNN projects.
Democratic officials recently sought information from the Pentagon on nine prominent Republicans who could challenge President Obama in 2012, according to report by ABC News Wednesday.
Among them was Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor who mounted an unsuccessful presidential bid in 2008 but has since remained cagey about whether he plans to abandon a cushy Fox News gig to take another shot at the White House.