Politics, United States

Obama Voices Regrets Ahead of Speech

US President Barack Obama took office in 2009 on a wave of hope, but voiced his regrets over failure to unite Washington during his time as he prepared to give a State of the Union speech on Tuesday, which would mark the beginning of his last and final year in the White House. Speaking on the ‘Today’ show at NBC, the President was asked about his inability of healing the political divisions in America and he stated that it was a regret. In his speech in Congress, the president plans to discuss America’s future optimistically as this is one of his few remaining opportunities for capturing and holding the attention of millions of American citizens.

On November 8th this year, a new president will be elected and will take office from next January. The final State of the Union address will be given by the Democratic president amidst intense campaign rhetoric for the presidential election in November with candidates fighting over violence, wage inequality and illegal immigrants. During the NBC interview, President Obama seemed to be in a reflective mood and said that he could have done a better job at communicating with the country so he could talk constantly and in confidence.

He said that the American people need their president to tell them what’s happening, especially in times of stress and the things that he had done well in his campaign weren’t done in the same way during his presidency. According to aides, the president will try to garner support for issues that have remained unresolved such as the closure of the Guantanamo Bay prison, tighter gun laws and a Pacific trade pact. Obama’s speech is scheduled for 9 p.m. and is expected to highlight the themes he is hoping will become his legacy. He will list the improved relations of US with Cuba and the nuclear deal with Iran last year as achievements.

He is expected to urge the Congress to shut down the Guantanamo Bay prison of the US military in Cuba, back the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact and support criminal justice reform. He will also probably discuss the fight against Islamic State, which has been criticized by the Republicans as too meager. Paul Ryan, House of Representatives Speaker told reporters that they hoped to hear the president outline a comprehensive plan for battling the ISIS, the militant group that has taken over Iraq and Syria. A Republican, Paul said that Americans are very anxious in regard to security.

As per aides, in his last year of office, President Obama will attempt to fulfill a promise that he made in his campaign in 2008; to shut down the Guantanamo Bay prison, which has housed foreign terrorism suspects after the terrorist attacks of the US on September 11, 2001. During the speech, the First lady Michelle Obama will be hosting people in her seating area who are in agreement with the president’s priorities. The guest list for this year include a Syrian refugee from Michigan and also the Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft, Satya Nadella.

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