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State of the Union Address From Obama Focuses on Taxes, Manufacturing

(US President Barack Obama delivers his annual State of the Union Address before a joint session of Congress and the Supreme Court on January 25, 2011 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.)

Photo by TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images

Have no fear, those of you who tire of GOP debates. Tonight you get to take a break…with a State of the Union.

President Barack Obama delivers his third such address to a packed Capitol chamber tonight. The speech, which reportedly centers around a more equitable tax code and the words “built to last,” will likely echo some of the same themes of fairness and a return to American values that the president raised in Kansas in December.

Some other things to look for: whether and how President Obama hints at the current Republican race, some possible doubling down on green energy despite the Solyndra fiasco, and specific talk about the so-called “Buffett rule,” brought into the limelight with the help of Warren Buffett’s secretary sitting with First Lady Michelle Obama.

At the start of an election year, it is perhaps Obama’s most important such address, and he hasn’t exactly had a well-behaved audience in Congress. In 2009, Congressman Joe Wilson accused the president of lying during his landmark health care reform speech. And Justice Samuel Alito famously shook his head during Obama’s critique of the Supreme Court’s “Citizens United” decision in 2010.