Foreign policy will take a backseat to domestic issues, though Obama may discuss next steps for drawing down U.S. troops from Afghanistan and reducing the nation's nuclear stockpile.
The administration has developed a consensus around cutting down to between 1,000 and 1,100 deployed weapons. While Obama is not expected to outline a specific number during his address, the administration wants to emphasize that it wants to work with Russia on mutually supporting moves toward weapons reductions below the ceiling of 1,550 set in the New START accord that took effect in 2011. The State Department's point person on nuclear arms control, Rose Gottemoeller, is in Moscow this week to consult on possible next steps.
The president will follow up his State of the Union address with three days of travel around the country. He'll start Wednesday in Asheville, N.C., where he'll visit Linamar Corp., a supplier of engine and transmission components that has expanded its manufacturing operations.
Obama is expected to reiterate his calls for revitalizing the U.S. manufacturing sector, perhaps reviving his campaign pledge to create 1 million new manufacturing jobs during his second term. Following a sluggish 2012, manufacturing grew at a faster pace last month, driven by an increase in new orders and more hiring at factories.
On Thursday, Obama will press for expanded early childhood education, perhaps going so far as to call for universal pre-school, when he travels to the Atlanta area. He'll speak at the College Heights Early Childhood Learning Center, which offers programs for infant, toddler, preschool, and pre-kindergarten students.
The president will also speak about the economy and gun violence Friday in his hometown of Chicago.
Associated Press National Security Writer Robert Burns and AP News Survey Specialist Dennis Junius contributed to this report.
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