On Wednesday, he jogged up to the stage at a UPS plant in Nevada, soaking in the warm weather and appearing to revel on the campaign stump.
He got into a testy confrontation on an airport tarmac with Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican and longtime foe on the immigration issue, about the way she had depicted him in her book. Afterward, he denied in an interview with ABC News that he was “tense” during his encounter with Mrs. Brewer and said the incident was blown out of proportion.
Despite the renewed spring in his step, some of the State of the Union highlights he promoted ruffled would-be supporters. Several college presidents and professors were skeptical of his plan to force colleges and universities to contain tuition rates or face losing federal dollars. The president of the University of Washington called it “political theater of the worst sort.”
On Thursday, House Republicans blasted the president for announcing the opening of nearly 38 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico to drilling, arguing that the same lease sale was in the works when Mr. Obama took office.