Political discourse is heating up as the Democrats and Republicans prepare for President Obama's State of the Union address tomorrow night. On Monday's Washington Unplugged, CBS News chief White House correspondent Chip Reid told CBS News' Bob Orr in a political roundtable what to expect in the President's address.
"Robert Gibbs made clear to us today that there won't be a lot of specifics," Reid said after attending the White House Press Briefing, "It's not going to just be a laundry list of issues, as the State of the Union speeches sometimes are, it's really going to be thematic, and in talking about jobs, the President's going to talk about competitiveness, and the importance of kind of upping our game, and that's going to require some spending, or investment as he's going to call it."
Reid added that the White House is more confident of late as Mr. Obama's ratings have been increasing after his speech about the Tucson tragedy, as well as from his "string of successes in the lame-duck period."
The economic crisis will ultimately take precedence in the president's address, but CBS Evening News senior producer Ward Sloane noted the President "doesn't have any specifics to offer and the situation is pretty much at a stalemate right now," as businesses and corporations are grasping on to their money tightly and have no intentions of spending it.The Republicans are demanding spending cuts and, according to CBS News senior political producer Rob Hendin what the "President has to do tomorrow is lay out the balance, of what, how do we spend money on things that will create jobs, how do we not cut spending which will increase job losses, especially from the public sector."
Meanwhile, the seats tomorrow are up for grabs, and musical chairs will undoubtedly be played as Democrats and Republicans will engage in a "last minute scramble," as CBS News congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes put it.
Cordes added that members are looking for their best bipartisan match; much like finding a date to prom. "Members are trying to figure out who they're going to sit with, who they could pair up with that would create the biggest splash, because as you know all publicity is good publicity up here on Capitol Hill. Its kind of like prom in the sense that someone you thought might want to sit with you actually wants to sit with somebody else."
Check out the full roundtable above. And tune in tomorrow at 8 p.m. eastern time on CBSNews.com for a special State of the Union edition of Washington Unplugged hosted by CBS News political analyst John Dickerson.