So what will it be tonight, Mr. President?
(a) A war on climate change?
(b) A war on unemployment?
(c) A war on the National Debt?
(d) A war on the Taliban?
(e) A war on greedy investment bankers?
(f) A war on poverty in Haiti?
(g) A war on the failure to provide more universal health care coverage?
(h) (b) (c) and (d) only
(i) (a) (b) (e) (f) and (g) only
(j) All of the above … and at the same time.
Personally, I'm hoping for a war on the failure to enforce roughing the passer penalties in NFL playoff games. But then again, I'm a special interest voter (specifically, a long-suffering Minnesota Vikings fan).
You, on the other hand, have the entire country -- indeed, the world -- to look out for, and we're all dying to hear what you come up with tonight. Here's a hint: prioritize, stay away from internally-inconsistent messages, and above all else, speak like a visionary and not a policy wonk. The policy-wonk era was so 15 years ago.
And by the way, triangulation isn't going to work this time. The natives on both sides of the aisle are way too restless for that tired old strategy.
Good luck. You'll need it.