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Jonathan Alter has some suggestions for President Obama’s upcoming State of the Union address in his column, “Obama Should Go Big And Bold For State Of The Union:”

The news media won’t learn what’s in President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address until a few hours before he delivers it Tuesday night. But we know one thing: If the president doesn’t give us specific ideas of what he wants to do in a second term, he’ll have a harder time winning one.

Obama articulated new themes for his domestic presidency in an important speech on Dec. 6 in Osawatomie, Kansas, where former President Theodore Roosevelt, a Republican, had unveiled his “New Nationalism” in 1910. Obama described the struggle to “restore growth and prosperity, restore balance, restore fairness” as “the defining issue of our time” and called this “a make-or-break moment for the middle class.”

But the Kansas speech contained almost no proposals for how to “make” the moment. The State of the Union is where the president must actually explain how he would reduce income inequality, revive the middle class and restore faith in our battered democratic institutions. Trashing Mitt Romney (or Newt Gingrich) all year won’t be enough to get Obama over the finish line in November.

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Mehmet Oz

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Fox News is in attack mode after its own polling showed Republican nominee Mehmet Oz trailing Democratic nominee Lt. Gov. John Fetterman in the Pennsylvania Senate race.

The July 28 Fox News poll showed that Fetterman has an 11-point lead over Oz. Additionally, according to the poll, “just 35 percent of those backing Oz say they support him enthusiastically, while 45 percent have reservations. For Fetterman, 68 percent back him enthusiastically and only 18 percent hesitate.” These results, combined with data showing that Fetterman is outraising and outspending Oz, could spell disaster for the GOP hopeful. However, since this polling, Fox has demonstrated it’s a reliable partner to help Oz try to reset the race.

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For decades, abortion was the perfect issue for Republicans: one that they could use to energize "pro-life" voters, and one that would be around forever. What's more, they ran little risk of alienating "pro-choice" voters, who had little concern that the GOP would ever be able to repeal abortion rights.

Key to this strategy was the assumption that the Supreme Court would preserve Roe v. Wade. GOP candidates and legislators could champion the anti-abortion cause secure in the knowledge that they would not have to follow through in any major way. They could nibble away at abortion rights with waiting periods and clinic regulations, but the fundamental right endured. And their efforts were rewarded with the steadfast support of a bloc of single-issue voters.

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