Clinton Aide Outlines State Of The Union Themes
By Dale Willman/CNN
WASHINGTON (CNN, Jan. 23) -- White House domestic policy advisor Bruce Reed laid out in broad terms some of the major themes of next Tuesday's State of the Union speech as he spoke to reporters at the Old Executive Office Building Friday morning.
The overall focus of the address will be "strengthening the nation for the 21st century," Reed said. In keeping with that theme, President Bill Clinton will talk about new efforts to provide health care for children not covered under insurance plans, he said.
Those efforts include additional outreach to sign up children in need of health coverage. Reed also said the President will discuss his proposal for "Educational Opportunity Zones;" a method of focusing more resources toward urban schools.
Noting that baby boomers are reaching retirement age, Reed said the president may have something new in mind regarding pension coverage, but he would not elaborate on just what the president might propose.
Reed said the White House staff continues to work night and day on the address, and will continue to do so until the day it is delivered. He said Clinton has been very focused in meetings with his speechwriters, focused on what he will be saying on Tuesday night. And he said the president will address the nation's business on Tuesday. That, he said, is what the American people sent him to Washington to do.
Notably absent, however, from Reed's discussion was any mention of the current investigation into charges of sexual impropriety at the White House.
Reed refused to respond to a number of questions concerning the president's ability to focus the country on his political agenda without having addressed the accusations against him.