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Emanuel's State of the Union Advice for Obama

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"Make it all about the future, because elections are all about tomorrow," Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said last week. "They're not about the past."

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Ahead of President Barack Obama's State of the Union address, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has some words of advice for his former boss: Don't focus on the past. 

Emanuel offered up his thoughts last week during a panel discussion for David Axelrod's new Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago.

"Make it all about the future, because elections are all about tomorrow," Emanuel said. "They're not about the past."

The speech, scheduled for 8 p.m. Tuesday, is especially important in an election year, the mayor said, and if the President speaks "looking through the rear view mirror, they'll catch you on that."

"The State of the Union is your one last time to put out the blueprint and the architecture of what [he] will do in the second term."

Emanuel said Obama's best bet is to outline plans for a second term and present himself as an inspirational leader, a trait Emanuel identified as one of the President's most dominant strengths.

"If he's big and goes to his strengths as an inspirational leader, he plays to what I think are his more dominant strengths," Emanuel said.

Emanuel stepped down as Obama's chief of staff in 2010 to run for Chicago mayor.

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