The President's overwhelming concern is the fragile health of the American economy. That was reflected in his State of the Union speech overnight. No surprise there.
The Obama Presidency will be judged by whether it can kick-start American growth and restore jobs to the heartland.
But the most emotional plea was a direct response to the Sandy Hook school massacre. Many of the Congressmen and women listening were wearing green ribbons, the colour of the Newtown primary school.
Gabby Giffords was in the gallery, along with many other victims and witnesses to the terror of guns.
The President demanded that Congress vote on gun reform, even though he knows radical steps will never pass a Republican controlled House of Representatives.
He made it personal:
Pendleton's parents were watching from the gallery.
It was an powerful attempt to pursue common sense reform.
But don't hold your breath. America is suffering an epidemic of gun violence but the politics of weapons are almost impossible. Many Democrats and almost all Republicans won't support a ban on assault weapons or restrictions on high-capacity magazines.
This was the President's fourth State of the Union address. There were 78 interruptions for applause.
But the reality is that it is unlikely to change America. And it certainly won't succeed in changing the dreadful trajectory of gun violence.