Weekly Address: President Obama – Working Together to Keep America Moving Forward

The President’s Weekly Address post is also an Open News Thread. Feel free to share other news stories in the comments.

From the White HouseWeekly Address

In this week’s address, President Obama reflected on the significant progress we’ve made since he took office in 2009. Over the past eight years, we’ve turned the recession into recovery; 20 million more Americans have health insurance; we’ve brought 165,000 troops from Iraq and Afghanistan; we took out Osama bin Laden; and we brought nearly 200 nations together around a climate agreement that could save the planet for our kids. The President reminded us that this extraordinary progress wasn’t inevitable – it was the result of tough choices, and the hard work and resilience of the American people. It will take all of us working together to sustain and build on all that we’ve achieved – that’s how we keep America moving forward.

Transcript: Weekly Address: Working Together to Keep America Moving Forward

Remarks of President Barack Obama as Delivered
Weekly Address, The White House, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year, everybody. At a time when we turn the page on one year and look ahead to the future, I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for everything you’ve done to make America stronger these past eight years.

Just eight years ago, as I prepared to take office, our economy teetered on the brink of depression. Nearly 800,000 Americans were losing their jobs each month. In some communities, nearly one in five folks were out of work. Almost 180,000 troops were serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Osama bin Laden was still at large. And on challenges from health care to climate change, we’d been kicking the can down the road for way too long.

Eight years later, you’ve told a different story. We’ve turned recession into recovery. Our businesses have created 15.6 million new jobs since early 2010 – and we’ve put more people back to work than all other major advanced economies combined. A resurgent auto industry has added nearly 700,000 jobs, and is producing more cars than ever. Poverty is falling. Incomes are rising. In fact, last year, folks’ typical household income rose by $2,800, that’s the single biggest increase on record, and folks at the bottom and middle saw bigger gains than those at the top.

Twenty million more Americans know the financial security of health insurance. Our kids’ high school graduation rate is at an all-time high. We’ve brought 165,000 troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, and took out Osama bin Laden. Through diplomacy, we shut down Iran’s nuclear weapons program, opened up a new chapter with the people of Cuba, and brought nearly 200 nations together around a climate agreement that could save this planet for our kids. Almost every country on Earth sees America as stronger and more respected today than they did eight years ago. And marriage equality is finally a reality from coast to coast.

We’ve made extraordinary progress as a country these past eight years. And here’s the thing: none of it was inevitable. It was the result of tough choices we made, and the result of your hard work and resilience. And to keep America moving forward is a task that falls to all of us. Sustaining and building on all we’ve achieved – from helping more young people afford a higher education, to ending discrimination based on preexisting conditions, to tightening rules on Wall Street, to protecting this planet for our kids – that’s going to take all of us working together. Because that’s always been our story – the story of ordinary people coming together in the hard, slow, sometimes frustrating, but always vital work of self-government.

It’s been the privilege of my life to serve as your President. And as I prepare to take on the even more important role of citizen, know that I will be there with you every step of the way to ensure that this country forever strives to live up to the incredible promise of our founding – that all of us are created equal, and all of us deserve every chance to live out our dreams. And from the Obama family to yours – have a happy and blessed 2017.

Bolding added.




  1. President Obama:

    As I prepare to take on the even more important role of citizen, know that I will be there with you every step of the way to ensure that this country forever strives to live up to the incredible promise of our founding – that all of us are created equal, and all of us deserve every chance to live out our dreams.

    The president will be delivering his Farewell Address on January 10, 2017.

  2. Pete Sousa published his Year End in Pictures post:

    For the eighth and final time, I am presenting my annual Year in Photographs.

    All of them were taken either by me or a White House photographer on my staff. For many of the images, I’ve included the backstory behind the image to provide further context or to share why that image was particularly important to me.

    As always, the editing for this project is both subjective and personal. Yes, there are some historic moments included but mostly I was looking for behind-the-scenes moments that give people a more personal look at the President and First Lady. And I’ve included a few that I thought were just cool photos.

    One of my favorites:

    Feb. 18, 2016 “President Obama watches the First Lady dance with 106-year-old Virginia McLaurin in the Blue Room of the White House prior to a reception celebrating African American History Month.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  3. Thanks for this, Jan. Yes, our President has accomplished a great deal in spite of the vile behavior of the racist bastards in Congress. I’m sorry to see him go, because with him goes reason, responsibility, wisdom, and compassion.

    In return we’re getting narcissism, petulance, complete lack of intellectual curiosity, and arrested development.

    Does the new president deliver a state of the union address or anything comparable? My stomach is roiling at the thought of the next four years.

    • I think that for the first State of the Union it is called something else because he would not be reporting on much, probably reminding us of the death and destruction that will be unleashed by his party.

      I did not watch any tRump speeches during the election season and have no interest in ever hearing him speak, if you want to call it that. More bleating and barking from what I have read.

      Private Citizen Barack Obama will not be going anywhere and I hope that whoever is voted in as the new DNC Chair is worth reporting on. If it is someone who wants to tear the party down and build something new, it will be sad. If it is someone in the mold of Gov. Howard Dean, I will be energized to write about the progress we are making to rebuild the state party structure.

  4. President Obama will be meeting with Democratic Party lawmakers on Wednesday to talk about the Affordable Care Act …

    President Barack Obama plans to meet Democratic lawmakers in Congress next week to discuss how to protect his signature healthcare law from Republican efforts to dismantle it, a White House official said on Friday.

    Obama, who is leaving office on Jan. 20, will attend a meeting with Democrats from the House of Representatives and the Senate on Wednesday, the official said.

    During the session, Obama will warn Democrats that allowing Republican lawmakers to scrap the Affordable Care Act before proposing a replacement would create “chaos” in the U.S. healthcare system, according to the official.

    There is no Republican unanimity regarding the “Repeal and Delay” option:

    Though Republicans are united behind the notion of repealing the law, they’re split over how best to replace it. Some want to strip out unpopular provisions while leaving others intact, while other Republicans prefer a start-from-scratch approach.

    It’s that lack of unanimity among Republicans that Obama and Democrats hope can be exploited, if they can lay the groundwork even before Trump takes office. To that end, Obama also planned to answer questions about the future of the health care law next Friday during a livestreamed event at Blair House, just across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House. […]

    Defenders of the law have also launched a political coalition called “Protect Our Care,” bringing together more than 20 groups, including the NAACP and the Service Employees International Union.

    One of their objectives is to try to prevent Republicans from repealing the ACA without also enacting a replacement. (Currently Republicans plan to quickly vote on repealing the law, and delay the effective date to give them time to craft a replacement.) Another goal for Democrats is to pre-empt bigger health care changes to Medicare and Medicaid long sought by Republicans. […]

    A recent poll suggests that defenders of the law may get a receptive hearing from the public. Only about 1 in 4 Americans want Trump and the GOP-led Congress to completely repeal the ACA, according to a post-election survey by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation.

    It is important the people don’t give up on preserving the Affordable Care Act and keep hammering away at our representatives from both parties.

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