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SOTU 2013: Obama to focus on economy, immigration, and gun control

Analysts say that the brunt of Obama's SOTU address will focus on economic recovery and job creation.

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US President Barack Obama speaks at the Democratic National Committee's Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Leadership Gala in New York, June 23, 2011. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images) (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama will most likely focus on the economy, immigration reform, and gun control during the first State of Union address of his new term.

The speech, his fifth since Obama took the presidency, will help define what his administration plans on doing with the next four years. Like many of his other State of the Union addresses, the brunt of the speech will focus on the economy and job creation.

Obama was criticized for not focusing heavily on the economy during his second inauguration speech, and White House officials have indicated that this won't be the case again, the Wall Street Journal reported.

"You'll hear from the president a very clear call for the need to take action to help our economy grow and help it create jobs," press secretary Jay Carney told CBS

Still, Obama is likely to address security and foreign policy issues, specifically the war in Afghanistan.

Senior administration officials have said Obama will announce on Tuesday his intent to withdraw 34,000 US troops from Afghanistan by this time next year, reducing troop levels by half, according to the Associated Press

Analysts say the president has only a year before Washington begins focusing on the 2014 mid-term elections, Reuters reported.

"He basically has a year for major legislative accomplishments because after the first year you get into the mid-term elections, which will partially be a referendum on his presidency," said an associate professor of American government at Georgetown University, Michele Swers, speaking to Reuters.

The State of the Union address has acted as something of a policy laundry list-- allowing the President to take his constituency through some of his major goals for the year.

Julian Zeilzer, a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University wrote at CNN.com that:

Although there are limits to how much these speeches can change public opinion, especially in an age of partisan polarization where large segments of the electorate are hard to move, it still is a vital moment where he can help shape the agenda for the coming year and outline some key themes for public discussion.

However, what the President doesn't mention in the speech may be just as important as what does get some face time. Although Iran's nuclear ambitions, the civil war in Syria and North Korea's third nuclear test are high on the list of Obama's foreign policy woes, there's a slim chance they'll be brought up during the address.

 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/130212/sotu-2013-obama-focus-economy-immigration-and-gu