Local Experts Discuss Upcoming State of the Union Address

Lynchburg, VA - President Obama delivers the State of the Union Tuesday Night, his first since winning re-election. He's expected to focus on nation-building here at home, but expect the president to also touch on immigration reform and gun control.

One issue that's got to come up in the address is North Korea, especially after Tuesday's alarming event: North Korea ran a nuclear test, claiming it's the "first response" to threats from the U.S. The country even warns it will continue with unspecified "second and third measures of greater intensity" if the United States maintains its hostility. For experts, the president can't ignore this one.

Randolph College Political Science Professor Vincent Vecera says the president has no good options for dealing with North Korea, but he certainly can't ignore it.

"I would anticipate it will have to come at the very beginning or the very end, because the overwhelming bulk of his speech is going to be a message to the Middle Class," said Vecera.

The president will call for more infrastructure spending. Expect to hear a good deal about manufacturing, energy development and education. The economy is what Americans like Michael Hall, from Rocky Mount, want fixed.

"The cable industry, the industry I work in, is hurting bad because of different regulations put on us," said Hall.

Andrea Bain, Lynchburg, is thinking about Obamacare.

"How that's all going to play out. Still haven't quite figured that out. Still think I'd like some more information about that," said Bain.

In the wake of the Newtown shooting, gun control has filled the headlines. Experts see the topic being a line or two, which is just enough to appease the president's liberal base. With immigration, however, the President has an opportunity to divide and conquer a Republican party split on immigration reform.

"Immigration reform is probably the political victory he'd like to win more than any other," said Vecera.

Rising Republican star, Senator Marco Rubio, can throw a kink in the president's plan, though. Giving the GOP's response, Rubio has a chance to bring Latino voters into the Republican party.

In addition to the traditional GOP response, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul will give a Tea Party response to the address.