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President Obama’s Final State Of The Union47:51
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President Obama’s final State of the Union address. We’ll look at the President’s home stretch message, and begin to consider his place in history.

President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, Pool)
President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, Pool)

There was the President, appealing to the better angels of our nature in his last State of the Union address. To an America clear-eyed, big-hearted, optimistic and strong. And there was the divided chamber before him, half cheering, half largely silent. Weighing the soaring language of the outgoing leader before them, and how it lands on the ears of the country that will decide the next presidency. This hour On Point, history, politics, reality – and President Obama’s last State of the Union address.
-- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Douglas Brinkley, presidential historian and professor of history at Rice University. Author of "Rightful Heritage," "Cronkite," "The Wilderness Warrior" and "The Great Deluge." (@profdbrinkley)

Jonathan Capehart, member of the Washington Post's editorial board. (@CapehartJ)

Eliana Johnson, Washington editor for the National Review. (@elianayjohnson)

From Tom’s Reading List

Washington Post: Obama addresses ISIS, the future and Trumpism in State of the Union -- "President Obama used his final State of the Union address to consider himself as an ex-president — talking in conversational, contemplative and backward-looking terms at the country he would leave behind, and warning not-very-subtly that the country shouldn’t pick Donald Trump to take his place."

National Review: The State of Our Union Is Not Strong -- "The president’s eighth State of the Union address is supposed to be his victory lap, a final year in the spotlight, in which he touts his achievements and then rides off into the sunset. Tonight, President Obama may utter the clichéd words, 'The state of our union is strong!' If he does, it’s just one more lie upon the pile."

POLITICO Magazine: The Nation He Built -- "It’s true that Obama failed to create the post-partisan political change he originally promised during his yes-we-can pursuit of the White House. Washington remains as hyperpartisan and broken as ever. But he also promised dramatic policy change, vowing to reinvent America’s approach to issues like health care, education, energy, climate and finance, and that promise he has kept."

Read The Washington Post's Annotated Transcript Of The Address

This program aired on January 13, 2016.

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