Weekly Address: President Obama’s Farewell Address to the Nation

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 discussed his upcoming farewell address to the nation. In 1796, as George Washington set the precedent for a peaceful, democratic transfer of power, he also set a precedent by penning a farewell address to the American people. And over the 220 years since, many American presidents have followed his lead. Next week, the President will return to his hometown of Chicago to say a grateful farewell to the nation. This will mark the first time that a President has returned to his hometown to deliver such a speech. The President has said that the running thread through his career has been the notion that when ordinary people get involved, get engaged and come together, things change for the better. This belief is at the heart of the American experiment in self-government – and it gives purpose to new generations. Through his address, the President will thank his supporters, celebrate the ways we have changed this country for the better these past eight years, and offer his vision on where we all go from here. The President will deliver his farewell address at 9:00 PM EST on Tuesday, January 10, at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois. To tune in on Tuesday, visit WhiteHouse.gov/live.

Transcript: Weekly Address: President Obama’s Farewell Address to the Nation

Remarks of President Barack Obama as Delivered
Weekly Address, The White House, January 7, 2017

Since the days of George Washington, presidents have delivered some form of final message while in office – a farewell address to the American people.

On Tuesday night, in Chicago, I’ll deliver mine. I chose Chicago not only because it’s my hometown – where I met my wife and we started a family – but also because it’s really where my career in public service began.

The running thread through my career has been the notion that when ordinary people get involved, get engaged, and come together in collective effort, things change for the better.

That’s the belief at the heart of this precious American experiment in self-government. It’s what gives work and purpose to each new generation.

It’s easy to lose sight of that truth in the day-to-day back-and-forth of Washington and our minute-to-minute news cycles. But remember that America is a story told over a longer time horizon, in fits and starts, punctuated at times by hardship, but ultimately written by generations of citizens who’ve somehow worked together, without fanfare, to form a more perfect union.

Over the past eight years, we’ve added our own new chapter to that story.

Together, we’ve turned an economy that was shrinking and losing jobs into one that’s growing and creating jobs, with poverty falling, incomes rising, and wages that have jumped faster over the past few years than at any time in the past four decades.

Together, we’ve achieved what eluded politicians of both parties for a century – we’ve moved 20 million more Americans from uninsured to insured, ended the days of discrimination against the up to half of Americans who have a preexisting condition, and secured new rights and protections for everybody with health insurance.

Bolding added.




  1. President Obama:

    The running thread through my career has been the notion that when ordinary people get involved, get engaged, and come together in collective effort, things change for the better.

    That’s the belief at the heart of this precious American experiment in self-government. It’s what gives work and purpose to each new generation.

    The Moose News Network will cover the President’s Farewell Address live.

    • Excerpts:

      President Barack Obama on Friday issued a stark, simple challenge to Republicans who want to repeal Obamacare: If you really have a better alternative, show it to the American people first.

      “If they are so convinced they can do it better, then they shouldn’t be afraid to make that presentation,” Obama said, even promising to vouch for such a plan.

      “I’m saying to every Republican right now, if you in fact can put a plan together that is demonstrably better than what Obamacare is doing, I will publicly support repealing Obamacare and replacing it with your plan.”

      “If they can come up with something better, I’m for it,” Obama said. “But they have to show it. And that’s not too much to ask.”

      “The idea of repeal first and replace later is just a huge disservice to the American people and something that whether you’re a Republican or Democrat you should be opposed to doing,” Obama said. “These are real lives at stake.”

    • Purity kills:

      Obama also said Liberals like former Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders had contributed to the program’s unpopularity.

      During Sanders’ campaign for the presidential nomination, he proposed replacing Obamacare with a government-run single-payer health insurance system based on Medicare, the government plan for elderly and disabled Americans.

      “In the ‘dissatisfied’ column are a whole bunch of Bernie Sanders supporters who wanted a single-payer plan,” Obama said in the interview.

      “The problem is not that they think Obamacare is a failure. The problem is that they don’t think it went far enough and that it left too many people still uncovered,” Obama said.

  2. In the News: From House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi:

    Nancy Pelosi @NancyPelosi

    There must be consequences for Putin’s attack on our elections — and the first step is allowing for a full, independent investigation.

  3. In the News: Trouble in tRumpian Paradise?

    Retired Marine Gen. James Mattis has been rejecting large numbers of candidates offered by the transition team for several top posts, reports The Washington Post.

    It described an “increasingly acrimonious dispute” over top appointments at the Pentagon between Mattis and the Trump transition team.

    The fighting began, according to the report, when Mattis learned through the news media that Trump had selected Vincent Viola, a billionaire Army veteran, to become Army secretary.

    “Mattis was furious,” a source told the Post. “It made him suspicious of the transition team, and things devolved from there.”

    The transition denies that this is anything but the smoothest devolution of the American system of government in modern times..

  4. Thanks Jan…..The Onion makes me smile, progress!

    Everyone comes from somewhere…..wonder how long he will last.

    James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis, Trump’s defense secretary pick, always comes home to Richland, ‘this town that formed me’

    Mattis’ willingness to serve was indicated in his speech more than five years ago to the Richland Rotary. Mattis said he would be comfortable with whomever the American people elected as commander in chief, and would strive to carry out that president’s orders.

    But if ever asked to do something he considered “immoral,” Mattis declared, he “would be back fishing on the Columbia River tomorrow.”

  5. This popped up in my Twitter feed – a day-after-the-election think piece on the upcoming tRump Administration – what we will be losing:

    “On January 20, 2017, we will bid farewell to the first African-American President—a man of integrity, dignity, and generous spirit—and witness the inauguration of a con who did little to spurn endorsement by forces of xenophobia and white supremacy. It is impossible to react to this moment with anything less than revulsion and profound anxiety.”

    “All along, Trump seemed like a twisted caricature of every rotten reflex of the radical right. That he has prevailed, that he has won this election, is a crushing blow to the spirit; it is an event that will likely cast the country into a period of economic, political, and social uncertainty that we cannot yet imagine. That the electorate has, in its plurality, decided to live in Trump’s world of vanity, hate, arrogance, untruth, and recklessness, his disdain for democratic norms, is a fact that will lead, inevitably, to all manner of national decline and suffering.”

    ” There is no reason to believe that Trump and his band of associates—Chris Christie, Rudolph Giuliani, Mike Pence, and, yes, Paul Ryan—are in any mood to govern as Republicans within the traditional boundaries of decency. Trump was not elected on a platform of decency, fairness, moderation, compromise, and the rule of law; he was elected, in the main, on a platform of resentment.  Fascism is not our future—it cannot be; we cannot allow it to be so—but this is surely the way fascism can begin.”
    [Presidential Election 2016: An American Tragedy – The New Yorker]

    The cast of characters has changed – some of those surrogates were cast aside – but the need to be vigilant, and to remember the promise of Obama, is essential to our survival as a nation and a species.

  6. In the News: Retirees and soon to be retirees – the Affordable Care Act Repeal endangers all government health care programs:

    Anyone nearing retirement – or already retired – should pay very close attention to the doings of the 115th Congress that was sworn in this week.

    Repeal of President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA) tops the agenda for Republicans, who will control the White House as well as both houses of Congress when Donald Trump takes office on Jan. 20. That will place a heavy financial toll on millions of older Americans who do not have access to employer-sponsored insurance or Medicaid, and who are too young to enroll in Medicare. But repeal of the ACA will also raise the cost of Medicare for current and future enrollees.[…]

    For older Americans, ACA repeal will mean higher premiums and out-of-pocket costs. Most Republican proposals that have been circulated loosen or eliminate restrictions on higher policy prices for older buyers. The program’s income-related tax subsidies, which aim to make premiums affordable for middle- and lower-income households, likely would be replaced by a flat tax credit that shifts costs to enrollees. Some repeal-and-replace plans also weaken the current ban on covering people with pre-existing conditions.

    So retirees who are being lured by the Siren song of “it only affects people under 50” … your health care is about to be smashed on the same rocks that the ACA is being smashed against. Fight Repeal as if your own healthcare depended on it. Because it does.

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