Whether President Obama's upcoming State of the Union address focuses on jobs, health care, foreign policy or something else entirely, there is one thing we can count on: Obama will make himself absolutely clear.
All politicians have their verbal tics — say, John McCain's "my friends" — but few resort to their crutches as often as Obama relies on his "let me be clear" set-up. He deploys it in formal speeches as well as in impromptu remarks, meaning that the White House speechmakers have keyed in on the boss's security blanket.
"Let me be clear," Obama said when he introduced himself to the country at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. "We have real enemies in the world. These enemies must be found. They must be pursued. And they must be defeated."