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February 12, 2013 at 6:00 AM

President Obama must touch upon many themes in tonight’s State of the Union address

The list of priorities, issues and constituencies  President Barack Obama must reach out to grows by the hour. The president must reach out to the middle class which means he must talk empathetically and compellingly about the economy and jobs.

He needs to launch a full-court press on gun control, lay out a roadmap on immigration reform and knit his many education reforms into a winning replacement of the No Child Left Behind federal law.  The president must connect the dots between this two-year-old plan and where the nation’s K12 system is headed.

Symbolism will figure prominently. The president is likely to talk about the need to have fewer guns in circulation.  The First Lady is expected to make her own gun control statement by having the parents of  Hadiya Pendleton - the Chicago teen recently cut down by gunfire -sitting next to her.

New York Times columnist David Brooks offered a laundry list of hoped-for Obama initiatives, including: approvimg the Keystone XL pipeline, cutting corporate tax rates and building Harlem Children’s Zone-type projects across the nation. Brooks gains steam when urges the president to means test Medicare and use the money to revive state universities and pay down the national debt.

What issues or policy ideas would you like to hear from the president?

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