The speech is expected to set the tone for the president’s second term in office, and outline his agenda for the coming year. Obama plans to speak about the creation of new jobs in America, a topic that had fallen out of the political forefront after last year’s election. Other topics will include education, immigration and new green energy projects.
“I’m going to be talking about making sure that we’re focused on job creation here in the United States of America. It means that we’re focused on education and that every young person is equipped with the skills they need to compete in the 21st century,” Obama said during the retreat, according to ABC’s Mary Bruce. “It means that we’ve got an energy agenda that can make us less dependent on foreign oil, but also that we’re cultivating the kind of clean energy strategy that will maintain our leadership well into the future.”
Economic concerns will seemingly drive the address, as the American economy continues to recover. Gun control, a leading issue both in Washington and at the state level, was also acknowledged as one of the administration’s priorities.
The recent fiscal cliff crisis and the upcoming sequester budget cuts have divided Congress along strict party lines, requiring a delicate approach to the nation’s deficit problems. Obama addressed those concerns while speaking to House Democrats at the retreat.
“We’re going to talk about, yes, deficits and taxes and sequesters and potential government shutdowns and debt ceiling — we’ll talk about that stuff, but all from the perspective of how are we making sure that somebody who works hard in this country — a cop, or a teacher, or a construction worker, or a receptionist — that they can make it if they work hard, and that their kids can make it and dream even bigger dreams than they have achieved,” he said.