Politics
Politics

Obama To Deliver Nontraditional Final State of the Union Speech

| by Sheena Vasani

The Obama administration revealed the commander-in-chief will deliver a “nontraditional” final State of the Union Speech on Jan. 12.

Unlike his predecessors, President Barack Obama will not just be merely rehashing his administration’s accomplishments, CNN reports.

“Don't take our foot off the gas," the president told a group of speechwriters and aides at a meeting.

“This is going to be an incredibly emotional moment ... You think about speech after speech, and this is the last one. This is the last State of the Union. And there's no deceleration in this guy. There's no deceleration. This is the guy that we voted for,” Van Jones, a leading official in Obama’s first administration, commented to CNN.

Obama will encourage Americans to continue embracing multilateralism and diplomacy in dealing with other countries after he leaves office.

The president will also spend much of his speech highlighting his agenda for the rest of his term, like delivering a plan to Congress to close down Guantanamo Bay’s detention center.

He will especially discuss ISIS, which “will be the overarching focus of everything we do this year," Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser, explained.

In addition, Obama’s guests will include those who “personify President Obama’s time in office” and “represent who we are as Americans: inclusive and compassionate, innovative and courageous,” the White House announced in a Jan. 10 press release.

These range from a plaintiff involved in legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide to Syrian refugee Refaai Hamo (pictured), a scientist who gained national attention after Facebook page Humans of New York featured his story.

“We survived but we’re dead psychologically. Everything ended for us that day,” said Hamo in the HONY interview that attracted a Facebook comment from Obama.

“I just want to get back to work. I want to be a person again. I don’t want the world to think I’m over. I’m still here,” Hamo said.

Other guests include a former illegal Mexican immigrant who served in the U.S. Army, a Saudi Arabian-born veteran, and the partner of someone who died in the San Bernardino, California terrorist attack.

Obama will also leave a seat empty “for the victims of gun violence who no longer have a voice -- because they need the rest of us to speak for them.”

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