Stephen Klien, professor of communication studies at Augustana College in Rock Island,  said President Barack Obama "did what he had to do" in establishing a strong defense of his policies in Tuesday's State of the Union address. 

"He established stark contrasts between a lack of any productivity on the part of a rebellious Congress," and the positive aspects of his work so far, Klien, who specializes in political rhetoric, said. 

"I think he got his message across," Klien said. "If there is a central message, he established that he wants to work with Congress as far as they will but he has no qualms about acting on his own executive authority."

In a midterm election year when the president is worried about losing seats in Congress, Klien said  Obama wanted to establish that "his agenda is the right direction and is having positive results, and that the Republican-controlled Congress is obstructionist at best."