2012: As the campaign year began, Obama’s address read like the list of accomplishments he wanted voters to ponder that November. And the language regarding arguments “about everything” became more pointed as he condemned the capital’s “perpetual campaign of mutual destruction.”

"For the first time in nine years, there are no Americans fighting in Iraq. For the first time in two decades, Osama bin Laden is not a threat to this country. Most of Al Qaeda's top lieutenants have been defeated. The Taliban's momentum has been broken, and some troops in Afghanistan have begun to come home.

"These achievements are a testament to the courage, selflessness, and teamwork of America's armed forces. At a time when too many of our institutions have let us down, they exceed all expectations. They're not consumed with personal ambition. They don't obsess over their differences. They focus on the mission at hand. They work together. Imagine what we could accomplish if we followed their example…

"In the last 22 months, businesses have created more than 3 million jobs. Last year, they created the most jobs since 2005. American manufacturers are hiring again, creating jobs for the first time since the late 1990s. Together, we've agreed to cut the deficit by more than $2 trillion. And we've put in place new rules to hold Wall Street accountable so a crisis like this never happens again.

"The state of our union is getting stronger. And we've come too far to turn back now. As long as I'm president, I will work with anyone in this chamber to build on this momentum. But I intend to fight obstruction with action, and I will oppose any effort to return to the very same policies that brought on this economic crisis in the first place. No, we will not go back to an economy weakened by outsourcing, bad debt and phony financial profits. Tonight I want to speak about how we move forward and lay out a blueprint for an economy that's built to last, an economy built on American manufacturing, American energy, skills for American workers and a renewal of American values."

2013: His last national election concluded, Obama reiterated the need to boost the middle class, once again demanding an immigration bill and growing uncharacteristically angry when he referred to the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., which had taken place less than two months earlier.

"We gather here knowing that there are millions of Americans whose hard work and dedication have not yet been rewarded. Our economy is adding jobs, but too many people still can't find full-time employment. Corporate profits have skyrocketed to all-time highs, but for more than a decade, wages and incomes have barely budged. It is our generation's task, then, to reignite the true engine of America's economic growth: a rising, thriving middle class….

"In other words, we know what needs to be done. And as we speak, bipartisan groups in both chambers are working diligently to draft a bill, and I applaud their efforts. So let's get this done. Send me a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the next few months, and I will sign it right away. And America will be better for it. Let's get it done. Let's get it done…

"It has been two months since Newtown. I know this is not the first time this country has debated how to reduce gun violence. But this time is different. Overwhelming majorities of Americans — Americans who believe in the 2nd Amendment — have come together around commonsense reform, like background checks that will make it harder for criminals to get their hands on a gun. Senators of both parties are working together on tough new laws to prevent anyone from buying guns for resale to criminals. Police chiefs are asking our help to get weapons of war and massive ammunition magazines off our streets.…

"These proposals deserve a vote. Because in the two months since Newtown, more than a thousand birthdays, graduations, anniversaries have been stolen from our lives by a bullet from a gun — more than a thousand.…

"They deserve a vote. They deserve a vote. They deserve a vote. Gabby Giffords deserves a vote. The families of Newtown deserve a vote. The families of Aurora deserve a vote. The families of Oak Creek and Tucson and Blacksburg, and the countless other communities ripped open by gun violence, they deserve a simple vote. They deserve a simple vote."

A measure to expand background checks failed in the Senate, one of the few gun votes that Obama or the victims would get. And immigration reform? Still pending.

cathleen.decker@latimes.com

Twitter: @cathleendecker