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Behind The Mic With Joe Mathieu: Obama Takes New Angle In State Of The Union

By Joe Mathieu, WBZ NewsRadio 1030
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BOSTON (CBS) – The pressure is always on when the president steps into the Speaker’s rostrum. Just imagine the view from up there. Members of the House, the Senate, the Supreme Court and the top brass at the Pentagon all staring back at you.

Never mind the rest of the nation watching at home.

They call it the Super Bowl of politics.

And this president must also carry the heavy political baggage he accumulated during a year that saw the botched rollout of Healthcare.gov, leaks about the NSA, a government shutdown and nearly an attack on Syria.

If the polls are correct, only one other president in modern history has begun his sixth year in the White House with stronger political headwinds – that would be George W. Bush.

The latest numbers come from The Wall Street Journal, which asked people which word best describes the state of the union.

Most people – 37-percent – chose the word “divided.”

And there’s little reason to think that will change Tuesday night.

The president’s advisors say he will push for ways to narrow the wage gap by hiking the minimum wage and boosting childhood education. And they’ve made clear the president is prepared to go it alone.

President Barack Obama works in the Oval Office of the White House on January 27, 2014.  (Photo credit MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama works in the Oval Office of the White House on January 27, 2014. (Photo credit MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

In fact, White House deputy press secretary Josh Earnest confirms to WBZ NewsRadio 1030 that President Obama will announce plans to unilaterally hike the minimum wage for employees of federal contractors to $10.10 an hour.

And this should come as little surprise after the president’s proposals from last year’s address went nowhere in this divided Congress.

The big three were gun control, climate change and immigration reform.

And there’s been no action on any of them.

Follow Joe on Twitter @joemathieuwbz

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