With the $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts set to take effect on March 1, President Obama will likely spend the majority of his time addressing the economy, jobs creation and finding bipartisan support for a deal to avert the sequester. The stakes are high for Tuesday's SOTU address, as the sequester could significantly derail economic recovery in the United States, cutting close to 1 million jobs in defense, damaging cuts to Medicare provider payments and medical research in cancer, and dropping children off the Head Start program.
According to West Wing reports, Obama will address "jobs creation" targeted at the "middle class" on Tuesday, as well as a series of new infrastructure projects to keep the positive trajectory of economic recovery and job growth.
Apart from the economy and jobs, Obama will have a captive audience to help push his increasingly progressive agenda from the January 21 inaugural address. With support from his Democrat base and increasing support from the American public, Obama will likely push more aggressively for gun violence prevention, gun control measures (in the form of background checks), immigration reform, and possibly even climate change.
Just as interesting as the President's remarks will be the GOP rebuttal, by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a rising star in the GOP camp. Rubio's probably got a lot at stake here, given Bobby Jindal's less-than-stellar performance in the rebuttal chair four years ago. For all the policy wonks and political junkies out there, this will be fun to watch ... especially as we start to realize campaigns for 2016 are probably starting to take form.