Senior administration officials are working on what one dubbed a "big, big" agenda the president plans to unveil at the start of the new year via the budget and State of the Union address.
Most of the issues have already been revealed, but what one insider said is new is just how hard the president plans to work to win passage of a minimum wage bill, broad immigration reform, reauthorization of No Child Left Behind, and entitlement reform.
"There will be no cruise control," said an associate. "These are big, big ideas and we will be pushing them with all our might and energy."
Another official said that the topics were picked because they are issues where the White House might be able to work together with Democratic leaders, especially the so-called "Blue Dog" conservative Democrats. And in the case of No Child, the administration hopes to reteam with some of the liberals like Sen. Edward Kennedy, who backed the first version, to sell the revised program. Other than promises to push the major agenda items, few details are set in stone, however, in part because the White House is mostly focused on Iraq and the upcoming report of policy changes needed there. In fact, very little work has been done on the State of the Union as the administration focuses on the Iraqi situation.