White House advisers spinning the boss’s State of the Union message late today are telling lawmakers to expect President Obama to press for passage of controversial climate change legislation because it will create jobs.
Media Affairs Director Christina Reynolds, Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer, and others in a series of prespeech briefings said the speech will resemble Obama’s past big speeches in tone and tenor, like his inauguration and Democratic convention speeches. “Continuity” is the goal, and Obama also plans to hammer home that he is still committed to the “serious change” he promised during his presidential campaign, they said. Job creation will be the president’s top priority. He will play up green jobs with a claim that passing energy and climate legislation—unlikely this year—will create jobs.
On healthcare, Obama plans to tie the need for reform to help for financially distraught families—all part of his new populist campaign focused on the middle class.
After raising spending levels to historic highs, Obama also plans to address deficit reduction and provide more details on his new budget freeze proposal. He will talk about going through the budget line by line to freeze programs and might even spell out a number he has already frozen. Insiders say the number is about 100.
And on foreign policy, he will talk about U.S. aid to Haiti and his vow to close the Guantánamo military prison.