I suppose it should be a SOTU question, with the big (such as it is) speech coming this week, and details beginning to be leaked out/pre-spun.
I want to set up a choice about what liberals should want out of the speech. The two things I can toss in are that, on the one hand, these speeches are never nearly as important as reporters treat them as in terms of presidential approval. They might make a bit of difference short term, but mostly they're forgotten in a few days, and any polling effect is gone rapidly. On the other hand, there's also no evidence that I know of that "bully pulpit" stuff works well in the long term.
Given all that, here's the two choices I can imagine. One is to go with poll-tested and focus group tested pablum designed to maximize short-term popularity for the president. Don't sneeze at that; my guess is that it really does make a difference whether the president is at 55% or 45% approval if there's a real budget showdown in a couple of months, and even though SOTU alone won't make nearly that much of a difference, it might, conceivably, be a piece of it. The other direction is to preach the liberal gospel, knowing that there will be a cost in short term approval for the president (not because liberal ideas are unpopular, but because by definition, as I set this out, the alternative is designed to maximize short-term approval), and knowing, as I said, that there's no evidence that long-term public opinion would in fact be affected by such a speech.
There is, by the way, something else that SOTU speeches actually can and do accomplish, which is to communicate the president's priorities to Washingtonians (that is, to Congress, to lobbyists, to activists). Presidents may not be able to affect public opinion very much (or, possibly, at all), but they certainly can put something on the Washington agenda, and high-profile speeches are opportunities to do so. However, for the most part that can be done in the context of either one of the above options, so I'm leaving that part of it off of the question: should the president try to maximize immediate public reaction to the speech, or should he try to maximize long-term education?