January 30, 2006
In just hours, the President will address the nation for his fifth State of the Union address. This time, with the approval ratings at their lowest, President Bush will have to work hard to win back the confidence of the country. His speech will follow a very tough 2005.
After a year that saw scandal in the Republican Party, a slowed response to Hurricane Katrina, rising oil prices, and a sluggish economy, the president will take his first steps in 2006 towards turning the tides.
During preparations for the State of the Union, the President said he is excited about the address and the direction of the country.
"I can't tell you how upbeat I am about our future so long as we're willing to lead," said President Bush.
This address will kick off the President's fifth year, during a time where his approval ratings have recovered a bit, but still remain in the low 40's.
"He needs to find a way to get his message through that he has a plan to get the country moving in the right direction again. I think those are very daunting numbers that he's facing," said John Podesta of the Center for American Progress.
The President plans to tackle domestic issues like the continued dependence on foreign energy and soaring healthcare costs. Internationally, he will reconfirm his position in Iraq and address Iran's nuclear ambitions.
"America is always at its best when we are shaping the events rather than being shaped by events. The President tomorrow night will be charting the path forward," said White House Spokesperson Scott McClellan.
Most importantly, the President hopes to begin down the path of winning back the American electorate by setting aside partisan politics.
"I will do my best to elevate the tone here in Washington, D.C. so we can work together to achieve big things for the American people," said President Bush.