Obama to Shift Focus Back to Jobs, Economy in State of the Union Address

President Barack Obama gestures while giving his State of the Union address in 2012. President Barack Obama gestures while giving his State of the Union address in 2012. J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Job one for President Obama in his State of the Union address will be to convince Americans that his top priority is their jobs.

White House officials tell me they feel stung by coverage of the Inaugural Address. Reporters highlighted the president’s left-leaning stances on immigration, gun control, climate change, and gay and women’s rights. Obama’s aides argue that he devoted more Inaugural Address language to the economy, jobs, and the deficit than all other issues combined.

Still, the perception remains that Obama lost focus on the economy -- the top issue in the minds of most voters.

So look for an address Tuesday tilted heavily toward policies pledging action on joblessness, growing the economy, and expanding the middle class, White House officials said Friday. The other issues will be discussed, aides said, but there will be no mistake that Obama’s paramount concern is the economy.

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