Obama's State of the Union Must-Do List

The president should focus on sequestration, immigration and gun control -- and leave the rest alone.

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And after he's done with his to-do list, if there's a SOTU "don't" for Obama, it's on drone warfare. Because even with renewed inside-the-Beltway controversy over Obama's aggressive use of drones, 83 percent of the public approves of drone strikes against suspected terrorists. If he chooses, he can afford to leave that one alone.

Otherwise, Obama would be well-advised to go easy on pronouncements about infrastructure spending or new education initiatives. Because until he can wrangle a basic budget deal with Congress, most Americans won't have much faith that he can deliver school reform or light rail.

After Tuesday, Obama will still have three more tries for a more expansive State of the Union. But this time, instead of a stem-winder or a laundry list, he needs an immediate game plan.

He needs to set out what he plans to do. And do it.

David Swerdlick is a contributing editor to The Root. Follow him on Twitter.

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David Swerdlick is an associate editor at The Root. Follow him on Twitter.

Like The Root on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.