(YAHOO) When President Obama delivers his fourth annual address toCongress, he’ll no doubt exploit the prime-time exposure to tick off a loooooooooong list of accomplishments from his first term. Then he’ll recite another lengthy list: the things he hopes to achieve in the future. But he won’t mention the biggest thing he wants his speech to do: Help him get re-elected in November.
As with Bill Clinton in 1996 and George W. Bush in 2004, Obama will use his election-year State of the Union speech to make his case for a second term. He has a lot of work to do. No modern president has been re-elected with the unemployment rate as high as it is now. Obama’s approval rating, meanwhile, has been mired in the mid 40s, a level that’s as likely to lead to defeat as to victory. Many voters–especially independents–say they have no clear idea of what Obama would do if re-elected.
To change that, Obama intends to unveil a fresh blueprint for “an America built to last,” with a strong emphasis on education, innovation, creating more high-quality jobs and making working Americans feel more optimistic about the future. Obama has talked about many of these things before, but he’s likely to freshen the packaging and toss in a few new proposals meant to entice independent voters. Here are some of the themes likely to emerge from Obama’s speech–and resurface on the stump: