Pres. Obama to give fifth State of the Union address Tuesday

    7:54 AM, Feb 11, 2013   |    comments
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    UNDATED (CNN) -- President Obama is preparing to give his first State of the Union address of his second term on Tuesday.

    The State of the Union address; the Commander in Chief's best chance to lay out his priorities and influence millions of television viewers. CNN senior political analyst Ron Brownstein says, "It's the moment where he gets an uninterrupted, unchallenged opportunity to talk to the country and to define his agenda and what he thinks the debate in Washington should be about, which is one of the most important powers that a president has."

    President Obama gave House Democrats a preview of what he'll say. He says, "I am going to be talking about making sure that we are focused on job-creation here in the United States of America. It means that we are focused on education and that every young person is equipped with the skills they need to compete in the 21st century."

    The White House says the speech will serve as a bookend to the inaugural address, a sign the president will touch on priorities like immigration reform and reducing gun violence.

    We could see new policy prescriptions to deal with issues like clean energy. But White House officials say the main thrust of the speech will be on so-called "pocketbook" issues highlighting a mix of old and new policies aimed at helping the middle class.

    So how effective will the president's message be in persuading Republicans on Capitol Hill? Brownstein says, "The speech is just one moment in a continuum. You have a president who wants to have a debate about immigration, he wants to have a debate about guns, he is clearly taking us towards a debate about climate and energy. And a Republican party that really wants to shift the focus as much as possible to the federal deficit and debt."

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