The White House has sent supporters a list of key talking points and takeaways from tonight's State of the Union speech they want Democratic lawmakers and strategists to drive home in media appearances.
Under the theme “opportunity, action and optimism,” President Obama will once again turn to a familiar line from his stump speech: “That if you work hard and play by the rules, you should have the opportunity to succeed.”
“In America, your ability to get ahead should be determined by your hard work, ambition and goals – not by the circumstances of your birth,” the memo says.
The email to supporters, obtained by the Washington Examiner, included five bullet-pointed paragraphs and a fact sheet, released to the press Tuesday morning, titled “Opportunity for all – Rewarding Hard Work.”
After this morning's announcement that Obama plans to use his executive authority to raise the minimum wage for government workers and call on Congress to increase it for the rest of American employees, the talking points offered few surprises and no concrete job-creation ideas.
Here are the other bullet points in their entirety:
• The president will lay out a set of concrete, practical proposals to grow the economy, strengthen the middle class, and to empower all those hoping to join the middle class. Issues he will discuss include wages, skills, college affordability, high-tech manufacturing, housing, retirement security and other issues.
• The president will propose increasing the minimum wage so those Americans working hard can have a living wage to support their families and make ends meet. The president wants to work with Congress to pass the Miller-Harkin bill that would increase the federal minimum wage for all workers, and we will continue to work hard to help get that bill passed and the president will work with lawmakers to get that done.
• The president has also said he would look at what he can do through executive action to help raise wages for hardworking Americans. So tonight, he will announce that he will use his executive authority to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 for those working on new federal contracts for services. The president’s executive order will benefit hardworking Americans – including janitors, cashiers, construction workers, and others – working on new federal contracts. This action will also mean a better deal for the federal government and taxpayers, as research shows that paying workers higher wages leads to better service and lower turnover. The president will continue working with Congress to finish the job for all Americans.
• The president sees 2014 as a year of action. The president has a pen and he has a phone, and he will use them to take executive actions and enlist every American – from business owners, workers, mayors and state legislators to young people, veterans, and folks from across the country – in this collective effort to restore opportunity for all.
•It will be an optimistic speech. America has a hard-earned right to that optimism thanks to the grit and determination of citizens across the country. Five years after the president inherited the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, our businesses have created more than eight million new jobs in the past 46 months, and they're primed to create more.
•The president will remind the country that, with some action on all of our parts, we can help more Americans find work, and more workers find the economic security they deserve.