WASHINGTON - (AP) - Hoping to rescue his prized health careoverhaul and revive his presidency as well, Barack Obama appealedin his State of the Union address for support for the plan that isin severe danger in Congress, urging dispirited Democrats not toabandon the effort.
"By the time I'm finished speaking tonight, more Americans willhave lost their health insurance," Obama said. "Patients will be denied the care they need. Smallbusiness owners will continue to drop coverage altogether. I willnot walk away from these Americans. And neither should the peoplein this chamber."
Promising to tackle the economic worries foremost on Americans'minds and become the transformative leader they thought they votedfor, Obama called on Democrats and Republicans to "overcome thenumbing weight of our politics" and agree on solutions to thenation's problems.
"We face a deficit of trust - deep and corrosive doubts abouthow Washington works that have been growing for years," he said.
Obama is looking to change the conversation from how hispresidency is stalling - over the messy health care debate, alimping economy and the missteps that led to Christmas Day's barelyaverted terrorist disaster - to how he is seizing the reins.
The president devoted about two-thirds of the speech to theeconomy, emphasizing his ideas, some new but mostly old andexplained anew, for restoring job growth, taming budget deficitsand changing Washington's ways. These concerns are at the roots ofvoter emotions that drove supporters to Obama but now are turningon him as he governs.