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President Obama Addresses Nation Tonight
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Tuesday night, President Barack Obama is scheduled to step to the podium in the Capitol Building for his third State of the Union address as the country’s leader. As he does this, the economy of the nation is still the hottest topic of the day while his popularity continues to drop.

Experts are saying Obama will use the speech as a method to boost his campaign in an effort to win another four years in the White House.

  
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“The State of the Union address is a combination of a political speech and a policy speech, because the two things are linked together by our system,” said Duke University political scientist David Rohde.

Obama has also offered previews into what he will discuss on Tuesday night, including income inequality in the country and the role of the government in leveling the playing field for the country’s middle class.

Five items that Obama must accomplish during his address, which begins at 9 p.m., are outlined below:

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Obama must be able to remain above the fray by offering a contrast to the harsh campaign ads in the Republican presidential primaries across the country.

“All he has to do is look presidential,” said Hofstra University presidential scholar Meena Bose.



“What Obama as president wants to do is rise above the charges,” Bose said. “The president wants to be on the offensive, not on the defensive.”

Obama must also be able to stress, as much as possible, economic gains in the country. Three years ago, Obama was aided in being elected by the economy. Now, the economy is a rough topic in the country and has become a bulls’ eye for his Republican opponents.

Rohde said, “He has to take it dead on.”

A UCLA political scientist, Lynn Vavreck, said that Obama should stress the three percent GDP growth experienced in the fourth quarter of 2011 and the half percent drop in unemployment over the previous couple of months.

“The winning message is not about the level of unemployment,” Vavreck said. “It’s about the trend line.”

Rohde said that Obama needs to follow this line: “It’s getting better; it’s getting better more quickly recently than before; and the expectation is that it will continue to get better.”

Another must for Obama is that he has to engage congress and he has already done so by saying that he will run against Congress in 2012.

“The president should call on them to shoulder the burden of leadership and policymaking,” Bose said.

Obama also has to show the public that he is hard at work, trying to fix the economy and other problems in the country.

“The overwhelming message of this address is going to be competence and getting things done,” Bose said.

“You’ll really see the benefits of incumbency,” she said.

Obama will finally need to drive home the nail when talking about his themes tonight. He will need to lay out a blueprint for fixing the economy while also offering new ideas for manufacturing jobs, energy and skills training.

“President Obama really needs to show he is in control of the situation, that he has a clear plan and it’s up to Congress to respond,” Bose said.

“Now that things are getting better, don’t change horses midstream.”



 

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