01/24/2012 04:58 pm ET

Rahm Emanuel Has State Of The Union Address Advice For President Obama

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel offered some friendly advice to his former boss President Obama on Tuesday night's State of the Union Address: talk about the future, not the past.

Emanuel made the comments during a panel discussion late last week at the University of Chicago, commemorating David Axelrod's appointment to head the school's politics institute.

"Make it all about the future, because elections are all about tomorrow. They're not about the past," Emanuel said, according to WBEZ. "If you are going forward looking through the rear view mirror, they'll catch you on that, and you'll have an accident."

Obama's speech is expected to focus on 2012 being a "make or break" moment for the American middle class. He is also expected to lay out plans to rebuild the economy in a way that is built to last.

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

The State of the Union address will take place Tuesday at 8 p.m. CST. Stay tuned to HuffPost Politics for live coverage and analysis of Obama's speech.