WASHINGTON — President Obama called on Tuesday night for Americans to unleash their creative spirits, set aside their partisan differences and come together around a common goal of out-competing other nations in a rapidly shifting global economy.
In a State of the Union address to a newly divided Congress, Mr. Obama outlined what his advisers called his “plan to win the future” — a blueprint for spending in key areas, like education, high-speed rail, clean-energy technology and high-speed Internet to help the United States weather the unsettling impact of globalization and the challenge from emerging powers like China and India.
But at the same time he proposed deficit-cutting measures, including a five-year freeze in spending on some domestic programs. He laid out a philosophy of a government that could be more efficient but is still necessary if the nation is to address fundamental challenges at home and abroad. Over the next decade, he said, his approach would reduce the deficit by $400 billion.
His message seemed intended to elevate his presidency above the bare-knuckled legislative gamesmanship that defined the first two years of his term.