On Tuesday (January 11th) night, the US President Obama took what might be his last major opportunity to provide a glowing picture to the fellow Americans by presenting Congress and the nation an accounting of the progress with a superb speech.
The US President began, "Tonight marks the eighth year that I've come here to report on the state of the union. And for this final one, I'm going to try to make it a little shorter".
"The state of our union is strong," Obama further said, declaring that "anyone claiming that America's economy is in decline is peddling fiction". He also used the opportunity to pat his back saying, "the longest streak of private-sector job creation in history," the auto industry's "best year ever" and “more than 9 million Americans have signed up for private health insurance or Medicaid coverage”, he informed. Obama also listed specific domestic issues such as gun control, criminal justice reform and trade where he hopes for progress before leaving office. Responding to the address, the South Carolina's governor Nikki Haley lead the opposition charge, telling Americans, "Many of your frustrations are my frustrations. A frustration with a government that has grown day after day, year after year, yet doesn't serve us any better".
Importantly, for months now, the Republican presidential candidates in the US have used their debates and several other platforms to portray that the country was facing a near-disaster at home and internationally, blaming President Barack Obama's policies. The state of the union, GOP front-runner Donald Trump even termed it as "a mess."
However, on personal note the startling pictures of an older Obama did revealed how much the presidency has aged Obama since his first State of the Union in 2009, his first address to congress show him with jet-black hair, and if we fast-forward to 2016 and the President's hair is almost completely gray, while his facial skin appears looser and more wrinkled.
One Twitter user said: 'Obama has aged 20 years in 8. The burdens of power'.