It seems worth noting that last year's State of the Union address was the kick-off, the beginning of the downhill slide that the president continued on for the rest of the year. He set his legislative sights on privatizing Social Security and then proceeded to lose that battle after a multi-month barnstorming tour around the country.
From there it was into the Fitzgerald investigation, into Katrina and then Abramoff. The key development came early when members of the opposition united against him and then members of his own party refused to stand with him.
The president has been trying to overcome that pattern, reverse the slide for months. But his poll numbers seem stock near rock bottom, at 39% according to today's NBC/WSJ poll.
He has to hit some big hit to reverse the pattern of slide and stumble. But the proposals he appears poised to announce aren't ones with much public support. And the members of his party in Congress, though eager to see him reverse his decline, are mainly looking to protect themselves in the face of the Abramoff investigations.