President Barack Obama on Tuesday will seek to move beyond the politics of the moment to define a second-term agenda built around restoring economic prosperity to the middle class, using his State of the Union address to unveil initiatives in education, infrastructure, clean energy and manufacturing.
Having secured four more years in the White House by arguing that the nation's economy is tilted against ordinary Americans, Obama will vow to use the power of his office to recapture robust job growth and economic expansion, according to White House officials who have seen the speech. Both eluded him during his first term.
Obama will insist that only "a thriving middle class" can stimulate long-term growth and that Americans must be given the tools to succeed, according to the officials, who discussed the speech on the condition of anonymity. His call for new government investments - many of which Republicans successfully blocked in his first term - is an effort to shift the emphasis away from simply reducing the deficit and will serve in part as an answer to Republican criticism that he has not focused enough on jobs.