Posted at 15:03h in The Friday BriefApproaching President Obama’s Wednesday state of the union address, many expected he would steer a new direction, away from a decidedly liberal agenda toward the center. He obliged with more than a few promises on how he would do just that. He took a clearly more populist/centrist tone, berating bankers, rebuking congressmen and senators for partisan bickering, reminding critics of his many “tax cuts,” and doing it all in his own version of “I feel your pain.” He even nodded to the right on initiatives such as nuclear power and offshore drilling. He urged Congress to pass a new jobs bill, called for the extension of a big business tax break, and the creation of a small business tax credit. In a follow-through today, it is reported that the president plans to propose tripling loan guarantees for new nuclear reactors to more than $54 billion.