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Bush Prepares for State of the Union Address - 2004-01-20

President Bush is putting the finishing touches on his election-year State of the Union address. He will deliver the speech to the nation late Tuesday from Capitol Hill.

This is likely to be the most comprehensive presidential speech of the year. The president will appear before a joint session of Congress to list his priorities at home and abroad, and to deliver a status report on the nation. This year, the speech comes one day after Democrats began the process of choosing their presidential nominee, with caucuses in the state of Iowa.

White House officials indicate Mr. Bush's plan is to shift the focus from the Democrats to his accomplishments and his vision for the future. They describe the speech as forward-looking, but say it will also take stock of the successes of the last three years.

The president is expected to dwell on the twin themes of national and economic security. Mr. Bush provided a preview in his latest Saturday radio address in which he said America is meeting its priorities, confronting dangers abroad and building prosperity at home.