Today, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough sent the message below to the White House email list to share President Obama's video preview and lay out what we can expect from his final State of the Union Address. He also jumped on Twitter today, follow him at @Denis44.
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I've had the honor of working for President Obama since the day he took office. For nearly three years now, I've served as his Chief of Staff, where I’ve seen the challenges he's faced and the progress he's made in working with the American people to move our country forward. Together with the American people, we've accomplished a lot. But I can honestly say, in all my time here, I've never seen him more optimistic about the future.
You'll see it yourself on Tuesday, January 12, when President Obama will deliver his final State of the Union Address. He took a few minutes to give you a look at how he's thinking about this year's address. Check it out.
After all this time in the White House, here's what I know to be true:
We still have work to do, but there's no question: Together, we've brought America back.
The budget agreement we reached helps avoid senseless cuts and will unlock critical investments in our national defense as we battle terrorism.
We have verifiably cut off Iran's paths to a nuclear bomb and fundamentally changed a policy in Cuba that failed to induce change for over half a century.
We are producing more oil than we import, even as we develop more clean energy and continue to reduce harmful carbon pollution.
Our high school graduation rates are the highest they've ever been, and last year, incarceration rates and crime rates both went down.
All the while, unemployment is down to 5% while health insurance coverage is up to 90%, even as health care inflation has continued its historically slow increase.
But what we have left to do is bigger than any one policy initiative or new bill in Congress. This is about who we are, where we're headed, and what kind of country we want to be.
That's why, in his final State of the Union Address, President Obama's doing something different. There's a lot we have accomplished over the last seven years and plenty we can tackle in the year ahead -- but this year, the President will do what is rarely done in Washington: Think beyond the next election.
Look for him to focus his address on the challenges -- and opportunities -- that will impact America for generations to come. Together, as a nation, we face some critical choices. If we make the right ones that build on the best of what our nation has to offer, we will leave our kids and grandkids an America that's never been stronger, fairer, and more prosperous.
So here are a couple to-do's for you: Stay tuned for something new from the President -- both from the podium and online at WhiteHouse.gov.
White House Chief of Staff
P.S. Since the President got on Twitter, I thought I'd get in on the fun, too -- follow me at @Denis44.