In terms of the economy, President Barack Obama was dealt a tough hand even before he took the oath of office--and he's been trying to figure out the best way to play those cards ever since.
According to economists, the recession officially started in December 2007, nearly a year before Obama was elected president, and the financial crisis hit full force in late 2008, several weeks before Obama assumed his presidential responsibilities.
Given that 2012 is a presidential election year and Obama is running for a second term, Republicans in the House, the Senate and along the campaign trail are criticizing the president almost daily for not rebuilding the U.S. economy and putting Americans back to work.
It's not for lack of trying. Looking back at the three State of the Union addresses Obama has delivered during his years as president, the economy has been his clear and consistent focus.
And while he has taken numerous actions on his own authority, and proposed a number of different measures that Congress could adopt to help achieve that goal (most of them never acted upon), one thing has never changed. Year after year, the cornerstone of Obama's plan for U.S. economic recovery and future growth has been clean energy.
Take a look at the highlights of President Obama's State of the Union addresses from 2010, 2011 and 2012 to see how they compare: