What about immigration and gun laws?
Question marks also can be attached to other top State of the Union priorities.
Some congressional action on immigration and gun laws seems likely, though what emerges could be significantly less than what Obama wants.
Immigration is the most likely source of a major package. But it remains a highly divisive issue, and both parties will be tested.
The biggest question mark, perhaps, is whether the Republican-controlled House would pass legislation granting a path to citizenship to the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States. And if the House passed legislation granting legal status but not full citizenship to such immigrants, would the president accept that compromise?
There is little question the president won't get his way in the gun control debate.
He wants new universal background checks for gun purchases. More robust background checks do appear to have significant bipartisan support, but not as sweeping a plan as envisioned by the president.
At the moment, the math is against the president when counting votes in Congress for his proposals to ban assault weapons and magazine cartridges that hold more than 10 rounds.
On guns, Democrat Hart sees it this way: "The president has the moral high ground but not necessarily the political high ground. It is still an intensity issue."
Republican Hughes recalls how President George W. Bush later regretted putting a push for Social Security reforms ahead of immigration, an issue that, back then, had better prospects for bipartisan action.
Especially now, she says choosing priorities is critical.
"If I were in their shoes, I would be looking to get some things done," she said. "Show people can work together and restore some confidence."
Hart predicts one line that will win applause across the political spectrum, in living rooms across the country if not in the House chamber: "We will be out of Afghanistan in 2014. Americans cannot wait for this."
A more aggressive Obama
More broadly, he sees a new Obama in the second act even if Washington's partisan polarization is a sharp as ever.
"There is an aggressiveness to his action and a willingness to recognize that he can use his political strength either to win in policy terms or political terms or maybe both fronts," Hart said. "Bottom line: The wind is at the president's back. The problems haven't changed or disappeared, but this is a more confident and politically sharp president right now."
Not surprisingly, Republicans see a different bottom line.
"It's not likely to produce much by way of legislative accomplishment," GOP strategist Gillespie said of the president's second term tone. "I suspect this speech will be in the rear view mirror pretty quickly."