Obama in celebratory mood, to flaunt legacy in last State of Union address

obama-addressHistoric Iran nuclear deal, US-Cuba détente, Paris climate change accord, affordable health care, a record creation of new jobs. President Barack Obama has a lot to trumpet about, and this is precisely what he is going to do in his last State of the Union address on January 12, 2016.

Setting the stage for his Jan 12 address to the joint session of the US Congress, the 54-year-old Obama, who is currently holidaying in Hawaii, has written to his followers, asking them to join in the celebrations.

“I’ve got 12 months left to squeeze every ounce of change I can while I’m still in office. And that’s what I intend to do,” he wrote in an e-mail to his supporters.

“We’ve done a lot of remarkable things together this year, and it’s because of committed citizens like you that this country keeps moving forward. You keep proving the cynics wrong,” he said.

Critics have varying assessments of Obama’s handling of the economy, but the president has singled out record job growth as a showpiece achievement of his presidency.

“When we took office, we were losing nearly 750,000 jobs a month. But over the last 69 months, our businesses have created more than 13.7 million new jobs — the longest streak of private-sector job growth on record — and the unemployment rate is down to 5 per cent,” Obama wrote.

Affordable healthcare reform, better known as Obamacare, is another much-discussed achievement of his presidency. Over 90 per cent of Americans are now covered with more than 17 million people have gained health insurance under Obamacare. Insurance companies can’t discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions, or charge women more just for being women, he said.

President Obama struck an upbeat note on his clean power initiatives and his role in the Paris climate accord. “The Clean Power Plan will cut carbon pollution from power plants by 32 per cent by 2030. We’ve cut our oil imports by more than half, while doubling clean energy production from wind, solar, and geothermal — creating steady sources of good jobs that can’t be outsourced.”

“Even as our economy is growing, America has cut our carbon pollution overall more than any other advanced nation on Earth. And we just helped secure the most ambitious global climate agreement in history,” said the US President.

“These are your accomplishments, and that’s what I want to celebrate with you on 12 January. As long as you’re out there organising, on whatever issue you’re organising around, America has a bright future ahead,” Mr Obama said.

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