By Mark Memmott

In the weeks he's been debating what to do next in Afghanistan, President Barack Obama has surely gotten lots of advice.

Frank Newport, editor in chief at Gallup, offers his thoughts -- based on his firm's polling -- about what Obama needs to do when he addresses the nation from West Point tonight about the new plan for Afghanistan. Frank recommends that Obama:

-- Acknowledge that things are going badly for U.S.
-- Reinforce the basic purpose of being involved in Afghanistan.
-- Justify why sending more troops is necessary.
-- Address issues of cost and how the escalation is going to be paid for.

Here's something to watch over the next few days as the public reacts to Obama's speech: His approval rating, in Gallup's daily "tracking" poll, has edged back above 50% (just barely, at 51% today). It had dipped as low as 48% in recent days. Which way will it go after tonight?

categories: Afghanistan

2:24 - December 1, 2009