Below are my predictions for the homeland security-related topics that President Bush will address in the State of the Union address 19 hours from now. I can see all of these making the cut, given the current attention to and political relevance of each:
- An appropriate reflection on Katrina, and a general commitment to rebuild the Gulf and help people recover.
- A repeat of the administration’s line of argument on the NSA revelations in the last two weeks, describing this intelligence activity as a vital tool to protect the nation.
- An exhortation to the Congress to renew the Patriot Act immediately.
- A mention of the pandemic flu and an acknowledgement of the plan that Bush put forward last fall to address it.
- A mention of border security and the need for a temporary worker program.
I’m really not expecting any specific new initiatives or proposals within the homeland security content of the speech. Most of the potential new things that he could announce – FEMA restructuring, supporting chemical security legislation, restating some of the Rice-Chertoff Initiative proposals, etc. – are a bit too wonkish for the SOTU.
I’ll post after the speech with an update on my predictions and an analysis of the speech’s homeland security content.