'The State of Our Network is Strong!'

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I don't know if the president will utter those exact words tonight. Probably not, because AT&T customers would sneer, right? But expect to hear a clear push for nationwide 4G expansion. Obama will cast this, like so much else in his speech, as an issue of competitiveness and something vital for encouraging innovation. An alternate reading: iPhone users have become a special interest like any other.

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Joshua Green is a former senior editor at The Atlantic.

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