Obama: I'm keeping my State of the Union shorter than usual

McClatchy Washington BureauJanuary 10, 2014 

The White House won't say much about President Barack Obama's State of the Union address -- which he'll deliver Jan. 28 before a joint session of Congress.

But Obama himself divulged a few details this week, joking at a White House event that he wanted "all the legislators here to know I’m going to try to keep (the speech) a little shorter than usual."

He added, to laughter, "They’re cheering silently."

Obama, who has been pressing Congress to extend jobless benefits that expired in December, said he would seek to "mobilize the country around the national mission of making sure our economy offers every American who works hard a fair shot at success.

"Anybody in this country who works hard should have a fair shot at success, period," he said as he unveiled five "Promise Zones" across the country. "It doesn’t matter where they come from, what region of the country, what they look like, what their last name is -- they should be able to succeed."

White House aides say Obama plans to continue doing as much as he can by executive actions that don't require congressional approval and Obama declared "This is going to be a year of action. That’s what the American people expect, and they’re ready and willing to pitch in and help. This is not just a job for government; this is a job for everybody."

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