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Silver Linings Playbook: Obama to focus on ‘optimism’ despite national malaise

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Although 7 out of 10 Americans believe they're not better off under President Obama, the president will focus on "optimism" in his State of the Union address Tuesday night, a White House memo said.

The memo of talking points, obtained by The Washington Times, said Mr. Obama will tell Americans that businesses are "primed" to create more jobs in addition to the 8 million created since the end of the recession in 2009.

"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," the memo stated.

Among the issues the president will discuss in the prime-time speech are wages, job skills, college affordability, high-tech manufacturing, housing and retirement security.

Mr. Obama's emphasis on optimism and opportunity is in contrast with the mood of the public about the weak economic recovery. An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released Tuesday found that 68 percent of Americans believe they are not better off since Mr. Obama became president. In the survey, 39 percent said the country is in worse shape since Mr. Obama took office, and 63 percent said the country is on the wrong track.

As reported earlier, Mr. Obama also will announce an executive order to raise the minimum wage for federal contractors from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour.

"The president's executive order will benefit hardworking Americans — including janitors, cashiers, construction workers, and others — working on new federal contracts," the memo said.

In his speech, the president will tell Americans that "your ability to get ahead should be determined by your hard work, ambition, and goals — not by the circumstances of your birth."

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