Drama in the West Wing

"We think that we can get a bipartisan package out very quickly," White House economic advisor Ed Lezear told ABC News in an interview. "The president will be speaking to this tomorrow."

He is also expected to talk about what he can achieve in the last year. That probably means giving up on ambitious new programs, such as the proposals for major overhauls of Social Security and immigration of past years.

The president does have an overarching theme for the address.

"He did say 'I'd like to give a speech on, you know, how my governing philosophy is trusting the people," chief White House speech writer William McGurn told ABC News.

Veterans say there is a key to what works.

"Genuine is better," Judge said. "It's got to be, at the end of the day, where the president wants to go, and he's got to believe in it, and the administration needs to be behind it. And you've got to be addressing real issues of the day, or you're just selling cotton candy with lots of empty calories."

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