Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel briefs reporters at the Pentagon on Monday. Hagel and President Obama will need to fight through a wall of resistance to their proposed defense budget cuts, say former members of a defense base closing commission. Carolyn Kaster/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Carolyn Kaster/AP

President Obama very likely made Democrats' midterm campaign messaging easier by dropping from his new budget a proposal that would have reduced the size of Social Security checks. Matt Rourke/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Matt Rourke/AP

Exhausts rises from a truck in California last September. Mike Blake/Reuters/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Mike Blake/Reuters/Landov

House Speaker John Boehner and his fellow Republicans could give President Obama the clean debt ceiling increase he wants but not for the reasons the president wants it. J. Scott Applewhite/AP hide caption

itoggle caption J. Scott Applewhite/AP

President Obama delivers his State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress on Tuesday. Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Landov

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., rehearses the GOP response to the State of the Union on Capitol Hill. She delivered it Tuesday following the president's speech. Susan Walsh/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Susan Walsh/AP

A woman bundled against the cold walks past the U.S. Capitol dome prior to President Obama's State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress on Tuesday. Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images