Obama to Highlight Nation's Progress Since 2009

By Cheryl Bolen

July 26 — President Barack Obama on July 27 will talk about how far the country has progressed over the last eight years when he addresses the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, a White House spokesman said.

The speech will mark the 12th anniversary of then-Senate-candidate Obama's speech to the DNC in Boston, where he was introduced to the national stage, said Eric Schultz, deputy press secretary at the White House.

“I think it's a good bet that he'll reflect on that,” Schultz said.

Importantly, the president will talk about what the American people have achieved over the past eight years in coming back from the brink of an economic collapse, he said.

Come a Long Way

Obama is still working on the speech, and changes are still being made, Schultz said.

But the speech will be a reflection on the president's past eight years in office and what the American people have gone through over the past eight years, Schultz said.

“Their grit, their ingenuity [and] their determination to come back from a very different place than we were in 2009 when this president took office,” he said.

It is likely the president will mention health care costs, which are growing at the lowest rate in decades, that more Americans are graduating high school than ever before and the longest stretch of private sector job growth in the nation's history, Schultz said.

GOP Nominee ‘Risky.'

Obama also has been candid over the past few weeks about why he thinks electing the Republican nominee is a risky path for the U.S., Schultz said.

“But I would suggest to you that I think tomorrow night's speech will much more focus on how Secretary Clinton has the judgment, the toughness, and the intellect to succeed him in the Oval Office,” he said.

Lastly, the president is likely to talk about “who we are as a country,” that people are better united than divided, and better together than apart, Schultz said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Cheryl Bolen in Washington at cbolen@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Heather Rothman at hrothman@bna.com

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