By Erik Wasson
President Obama provided a video previewing Tuesday's State of the Union to Organizing For America, the grass-roots arm of the Democratic National Committee on Saturday.
Obama tried to link the upcoming speech to the spirit of bipartisan unity that energized supporters in 2008, while at the same time reassure them he is focused on job-creation.
He said of the speech “my principal focus, my number one focus, is going be making sure that we are competitive, that we are growing, and we are creating jobs not just now but well into the future.”
In an email message to supporters sent with the video, Obama said he “will talk to the nation about how we can win the future by out-innovating, out-educating, out-building the rest of the world.”
“It’s going to take a lot of work, these are big challenges that are in front of us. But we’re up to it, as long as we come together as a people—Republicans, Democrats, Independents—as long as we focus on what binds us together as a people, as long as we’re willing to find common ground even as we’re having some very vigorous debates,” Obama added.
“Now, that’s the vision that I began talking about when I was first running for president, and so many of you signed on to that vision because you too believed in the power of the American Dream, and you believed that everybody should have a chance at that American Dream,” he said.
Obama said that he will also say that the debt and budget deficit must be dealt with and that government must become leaner and more efficient.
It is not clear from the message to what extent Obama will lay out a budget deficit plan in the speech or to what extent he will recommend new spending on education, infrastructure and research grants in order to create jobs.
Obama acknowledged continued high unemployment in the video but sought to foment optimism by telling supporters that “we’ve created more than a million jobs over the last year. The stock market is back up, and corporate profits are healthy again.”
Obama's message to supporters comes as his 2012 re-election campaign staff is beginning to assemble in Chicago. Obama is expected to kick off his re-election drive as soon as April.