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Thursday, December 14, 2017

By Roberta Rampton

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will paint an optimistic picture in his final State of the Union televised address on Tuesday, drawing a contrast with Republicans running to replace him in the November 2016 presidential election, his top aide said on Sunday.

White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said the address, which will air live at 9 p.m. EST (0200 GMT) on Tuesday, will be less of a laundry list of legislative plans and more of a big-picture view of America’s future.

“You’ll hear a big, optimistic, generous view of the future of America from the president on Tuesday,” McDonough said in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” one of several he gave on Sunday.

The speech will be part nostalgic nod to Obama’s history-making 2008 “hope and change” campaign which made him the first African-American president and part victory lap. The 54-year-old president will focus on the turnaround in the economy during his time in office – and try to avoid being cast as a “lame duck” unable to advance priorities as Congress prepares for his successor, who will take office in January 2017.

The president, speaking in the Capitol, will address members of the Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives and other top officials in the government, including U.S. Supreme Court justices and the military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Obama’s outlook is “different than some of the doom and gloom that we hear from the Republican candidates out there every day,” McDonough said on ABC News’ “This Week.”

The State of the Union speech, which is required by the U.S. Constitution, is earlier than usual in the calendar, partly to avoid becoming overshadowed by the early primary campaign contests, which begin on Feb. 1 in Iowa.

Republicans on Sunday were quick to point to Obama’s foreign policy shortcomings.

“I think, right now, the state of our union is a mess,” Donald Trump, the national front-runner in the Republican presidential race, said on NBC.

Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell said he expected Obama would “try to paint a rosy picture where one does not exist” and urged the president to focus on a plan to defeat Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria.

“The whole Middle East is in terrible shape,” McConnell said.

(Additional reporting by Doina Chiacu, Andy Sullivan and Jeff Mason; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a visit to Boise State University in Idaho January 21, 2015. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

116 Responses to Obama, In State Of Union Speech, To Draw Contrast With Republican ‘Gloom’

  1. Things are just wonderful here. ISIS is contained. After all they are only the JV. Our borders are secure. More people are out of work than ever before. More food stamps then ever before. Health care premiums are on a huge rise. President ignores Congress, showing we only need his branch of government. The heck with checks and balances. Things are great.

  2. You always know that blockheads will never accept facts. Their minds are as closed as cement walls. They love doom and gloom to the extent that no day ever has a ray of sunshine.

    To all of the Doom and Gloomers out there…No one is going to hand you life on a silver platter. YOu have to work your butts off for at least 4 or more decades to pay your dues in life. Sorry that the world is so cruel and hard for you whiners and wusses.

    Things in the US are not what they were on December 31, 2008. But who expects blockheads to admit that?

    They love to wallow in fossil fuel that pollutes the planet, forces tax dollars to be wasted and all so they can trot off to Big Oil and Frackola jobs that don’t pay them enough to afford to pay for their own healtcare. Makes sense to them..just not to the rest of the common sense world.

    As the president stated, just as their will always be blockheads in the US who hate the government, hate the president, hate anything that doesn’t make their lives easier and everyone else’s harder, there will always be terrorists who flout human rights, civility and sane behavior. Blockheads and terrorists do have that in common.

      • This? From National Memo’s Most Famous Blockhead? This, from a man who fights to his death to get HIS and ONLY HIS way? This? From the man who can’t stand to be disagreed with from anyone? This? From a narrow minded CONman in a prison cell of his own creation?

        Sorry if you can’t stand any woman to disagree with your blockheaded ideas of Me, Me, Me, Me…but change is inevitable and slugs like you are not going to fare well when the taxes I pay to keep you in 3 hots and a cot are cut off.

          • Since you are the “common denominator” who does ALL the disagreeing, I’d say your are the stupid man with no balls to be man enough to admit when you are wrong.

            Gee…that’s was Herr Cheney’s stock in trade too…He and Bush NEVER once said “I was wrong.” Obama has at least 4 times..that’s a real man..no a man with no balls like you.

          • I’m not wrong. You are. You wouldn’t know a “real man” if one came up and bit you on your big nose.

          • Keep insisiting you are right..most mental patients do that too. I know many real men..and I know scumbucket little boys who spend too much time trying to prove they are men..that would be you. Any man who spends as much time trolling as you do, isn’t a man..he’s a feeble minded, lunatic who long ago should have been institutionalized. Eunochs like you have about as much gender cloned mice.

          • You wouldn’t know a real man if one bit you on the nose. Do the attendants at your hospital know your loose?

  3. Yeah, who could be gloomy about a $19 trillion deficit? I mean, we’ll just pay that down by harvesting the money tree. Won’t we?

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