In an economic speech on Thursday that could set the tone for months of campaigning, Obama is not likely to unveil new ideas to boost the economy and create new jobs, according to Democrats familiar with the preparations for the address.

Instead, he will make the case that he needs four more years to undo the damage left by George W. Bush, his Republican predecessor in the White House, and argue that a President Romney would bring back the weak financial regulation and budget-busting tax cuts of the Bush years…

Democrats see Thursday’s speech as a chance for Obama to rise above the chatter of the 24-hour news cycle and show voters how his policies will make their lives better.

“He’s got to be able to talk to people in concrete terms about what his record has meant to them,” said Linda Peek Schacht, who handled communications for Democratic President Jimmy Carter’s failed re-election bid in 1980, when Carter lost to Ronald Reagan.