This Is It: Obama Delivers His Final State of the Union Address



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President Barack Obama stood before Congress to deliver his final State of the Union address.

Leo Smith, Assistant Online Editor

In his address, President Obama covered a myriad of topics, from tackling poverty in America to American leadership in the 21st century. With a year left in his presidency, the address marked the beginning of the end for the president.

President Obama does not plan on slowing down. Instead, he looks to make the most of his remaining time in order to evade lame-duck status. President Obama spoke directly to the American people, hoping to replace their fears with optimism in order to focus on America’s future past his presidency.

“I don’t want to talk just about the next year,” President Obama said. “I want to focus on the next five years, ten years, and beyond.”

But he warned that change would not happen overnight because of interests in preserving the status quo. “But the jobs we’ll create, the money we’ll save, and the planet we’ll preserve — that’s the kind of future our kids and grandkids deserve.”

President Obama unveiled his plans for the rest of his term, posing four key questions: giving everyone a fair shot, making technology work for us, keeping America safe, and making politics reflect what’s best for America.

One of the most important topics mentioned was the state of the nation’s economy.
“The United States of America, right now, has the strongest, most durable economy in the world…more than 14 million new jobs [have been added]; the strongest two years of job growth since the ‘90s; an unemployment rate cut in half.”

He came into office on the cusp of the greatest economic downfall since the Great Depression. Open to suggestions, President Obama welcomed Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s ideas of tackling poverty.

“America is about giving everybody willing to work a hand up,” President Obama said. “And I’d welcome a serious discussion about strategies we can all support, like expanding tax cuts for low-income workers without kids.”

When talking about terrorism, the president continued his optimism, boasting that “the United States of America is the most powerful nation on Earth. Period.”

President Obama went on to describe the risks posed by terrorists organizations like ISIL and al Qaeda, but ended reassuring Americans that America is more than able to handle an threat.

President Obama concluded with his most important point: the future.

“The future we want — opportunity and security for our families, a rising standard of living and sustainable, peaceful planet for our kids — all that is within our reach,” said President Obama.
“But it will only happen if we work together. It will only happen if we can have rational, constructive debates… Rather than subsidize the past, we should invest in the future…”

He didn’t pass up the opportunity to acknowledge the current presidential race, referring to the 2016 presidential candidates in attendance for the State of the Union.

“Tonight marks the eighth year I’ve come here to report on the State of the Union. And for this final one, I’m going to make it shorter. I know some of you are are antsy to get back to Iowa,” he said.