President Obama will lay out the nation's challenges in stark terms tonight but will strike a more optimistic note, CNN reports. "We will rebuild, we will recover, and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before," says Obama's prepared excerpts. The solutions exist "in our laboratories and universities; in our fields and our factories; in the imaginations of our entrepreneurs and the pride of the hardest-working people on Earth."
Obama is expected to focus on four broad themes tonight: the economy, education, energy, and health care. The president has taken some flak for being too dour of late, a point that Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is expected to mention in his response. A top administration official tells CNN that Obama has gotten the point. In the speech, "he clearly says, 'We will get through this, and here are the policies to get through this,'" the official said.