Indeed, Obama's State of the Union message barely touched on the immediate issue of how to get 14 million jobless Americans back to work, not to mention the underemployed and discouraged workers who aren't represented in the 9 percent unemployment rate.
Obama's State of the Union idea of "out-innovating, out-educating, and out-building" the rest of the world is "interesting rhetoric," says Republican pollster David Winston. "But a speech won't be enough. It will have to be, 'OK, what are you actually going to do...?' Ultimately, he's got a monthly report card: jobs. Either that changes or it doesn't."
Since the State of the Union, Obama has kept the rhetorical drumbeat going on innovation and investment in infrastructure. Last week, he traveled to Wisconsin to highlight a high-efficiency lighting company and to Pennsylvania to announce an initiative to improve the energy efficiency of commercial buildings across the country.
Obama has also kept up his outreach to the business community, delivering a highly anticipated speech Monday to the US Chamber of Commerce in which he implored members to hire and invest.