Obama's last State of the Union address
Barack Obama gave his last and final State of the Union address, almost seven years after first being elected President of the United States. His eighth and last State of the Union address focused on the future, leaving people with difficult questions to answer about America's role in the world. Obama has one year left before his tenure as President is completed.
What is the State of the Union address?
The State of the Union address is delivered annually by the President of the US to a joint session of the US Congress. Under Article II, Sec. 3 of the US Constitution, Presidents are obligated to appraise Congress on the nation's current situation and outline his legislative agenda for the year ahead. Since 1934, it usually happens been between January 3 and February 12.
The designated survivor
Customarily, one cabinet member does not attend the address, in order to provide continuity in the line of succession, in case a catastrophe disables the President, the Vice President, and other succeeding officials gathered in the House chamber.
What were the key points addressed by Obama?
Defending his administrations economic policies, Obama stated that the US economy was currently the "most durable economy in the world". He also stated that the Republicans' stance on ISIS was alarmist and the ISIS "does not threaten our (US) national existence." In a reference to GOP candidate Donald Trump, Obama slammed politicians who "insult Muslims" or target people "because of race or religion."
Republicans slam Obama's speech
Donald Trump reacted to Obama's address via twitter stating that the speech was, "really boring, slow, lethargic - very hard to watch!" House Speaker Paul Ryan stated that Obama's speech still failed to elaborate on how the US was to defeat ISIS. Republican Ted Cruz stated that the speech was "less a State of the Union and more a state of denial."
Democrats laud Obama's governance
While Obama's address was underway, Hillary Clinton's campaign sent out a fundraising email praising the President's leadership and policies. Martin O'Malley seconded Obama's calls for better Social Security and praised the President, tweeting - "We are stronger today b/c of him". Bernie Sanders said Obama's speech was important as it taught American's to "wield (change) to improve the lives of all Americans".
Obama administration: Six years and 358 days later
According to the White House, Obama took office when the US faced one of it's worst financial crises and amidst one of it's largest international interventions. It states that since then, the Obama administration has created over 14.1 million jobs and brought back over 160,000 troops. However, his stances on national security, healthcare and domestic gun crime has been the subject of widespread criticism.