While tears were once seen as political suicide, these days it's become a way to show genuineness and connect with the public.
The Beyoncé lip-sync debate is in some ways a clash of cultures. On one side is a political world in which authenticity is seen as important; on the other is show business.
Dragging out negotiations on the debt ceiling could potentially harm the US and global economies, not to mention tax and entitlement reforms, says Rep. Sander Levin (D) of Michigan.
The Beyoncé lip sync, like all things inaugural, is not without precedent: Cellist Yo-Yo Ma and violinist Itzhak Perlman didn't play live in 2008, either. But it gives White House critics an opening.
According to one poll, a majority of Americans now support abortion in all or most cases – a result, perhaps, of the many anti-abortion measures enacted by states in recent years.
President Obama's speech defended liberal touchstones, such as a strong role for government, but it raised issues that could divide GOP ranks, such as gay marriage, equal-pay legislation, and even amnesty for illegal immigrants.
On Tuesday, the United States marks the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the historic US Supreme Court decision that granted women the right to an abortion. Here is a look at the state of abortion rights in America today.