President Obama will take the podium tonight to deliver his State of the Union address, a speech in which he intends to make the case to the American public that the nation needs to take bolder action to pull itself out of its long economic malaise.
During his annual address to the joint session of Congress, scheduled for 9 p.m. EST, Obama will argue that investment in science, innovation and education offer the best long-term solution to keeping the United States competitive in a crowded global economy. In his briefing on Monday, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs revealed only scant details about Obama's speech, but he made it clear that the president will "spend most of his time talking about the economy, talking about the challenges that we face both in the short term in terms of doing whatever we can to help create jobs, in the medium and long term to continue working on issues like competiveness and innovation."
In a sense, a lot of what the American people are likely to hear from Obama tonight will be a familiar refrain.
Last month, in a speech in North Carolina, Obama made the case that the Great Recession is America's latest "Sputnik moment"--a reference to the wakeup call that spurred U.S. investment in math and science education after the Soviet Union launched a satellite into space ahead of the United States. In April, he made the case in a major address on the economy that the country needs "a new foundation for growth and prosperity."