During President Barack Obama's final State of the Union address, delivered Tuesday, Jan. 11, the president hinted at his hopes for the future while referencing the accomplishments of the past. Several of Obama's State Of The Union quotes pointed towards one distinct theme — while there were many topics President Obama touched on in his one-hour speech, his focus on climate change and education proved that the next generation is Obama's first priority.
Obama made sure to address topics the public obviously wanted to hear about, like ISIS, Syrian refugees, and gun control. He was also steadfast in his hopes for the future, and for the generation that will eventually control it. While he made half-jokes, like naming Vice President Joe Biden in charge of finding a cure for cancer, he was also serious about making education and sustainable energy a top priority, moving forward and long after he steps down as president.
First, President Obama invited people to his final State of the Union that hinted at points he later reiterated in his speech. For example, the president invited Mark Davis, a small-business owner who employs low-income individuals to install green and energy efficient solar panels on private homes and in low-income communities. Inviting an individual that A) owns a thriving small business and B) has made his business energy conservation, proves that the president is dedicated to providing future generations with clean and renewable energy.
The president also invited Jennifer Bragdon, a 42-year-old community college student who also works full time and raises a family. It is clear that her attendance coincides with the president's plan to make community college free for all students.
And then, of course, there were various quotes throughout the president's speech that proved he will not be abandoning the future generations he has been fighting for for the last seven years. Here are just a few of the quotes from the president's final SOTU, proving that he may not always be the president of the American people, but he will always be a man for the people.
President Obama made it point to let the American people know that even if he isn't going to be our president after 2016, he is still going to care — and fight for — America's future. At the outset of the speech, he stated:
But for my final address to this chamber, I don’t want to talk just about the next year. I want to focus on the next five years, ten years, and beyond. I want to focus on our future.
One way he is doing that as his final year as president is focusing on climate change, and ways that we can combat it. He made various references to green energy and reducing dependance on foreign oil.
The president also made a point to touch on education, and the growing need for higher education to be affordable. President Obama commented on the reduction of student loans, higher high school graduation rates, and an increase in early childhood education.
And while President Obama's final SOTU went on for close to an hour, it didn't take nearly as long for viewers across the country to realize that the next generation is his first priority.
You can watch the president's final State of the Union address below.
Thank you, president, for seven years of service, and for the promise to continue for many more years to come.