President Barack Obama says one of the few regrets of his presidency is that too many Americans feel their voice doesn't matter in democracy.
Obama discussed the failure to change the U.S. political system as he delivered his final State of the Union address. He says the rancor and suspicion between parties has gotten worse, not better.
It's an acknowledgement of Obama's inability to bring about the type of change and end to partisanship he campaigned on in 2008.
Obama says a president with gifts like Abraham Lincoln had might have made more progress in bridging the divide. But he says he'll keep trying for the rest of his presidency.
Obama says democracy doesn't work when people won't compromise or acknowledge facts. He says it also doesn't work when the system is rigged for the rich or powerful.
But Obama says fixing the problem can't be the president's job alone.
Our earlier post:
President Obama gives his final State of the Union address tonight. KERA will provide live coverage starting at 8 p.m. on KERA-TV (Channel 13), KERA 90.1 FM and here on KERANews.org.
Here’s a livestream from PBS NewsHour. (Before the address, NewsHour coverage may air in the livestream.)
And click below to listen to live NPR coverage of the speech. (NPR hourly newscasts may air before and after the speech.)
The Associated Press has more details on the speech:
Tonight, President Barack Obama delivers his final State of the Union address, and it's expected to take on an optimistic tone.
White House aides say the president will call attention to his administration's successes, such as reaching a nuclear deal with Iran, re-launching diplomatic relations with Cuba and negotiating a budget deal with the Republican-led Congress.
The positive recap comes despite polls that show many Americans are pessimistic, with concerns about terrorism and rapid social change.
But a recent NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll finds seven in 10 people saying they see the country heading in the wrong direction.
The president is expected to speak about what he feels the U.S. can and should aspire to, as a sort of rebuttal to the sense of pessimism.
Several Texans have been invited to attend the address. Among them – Oscar Vazquez of Fort Worth, who’s a veteran and a DREAMer. He served a tour in Afghanistan, graduated from Arizona State University, returned to Mexico to obtain a legal visa, and later became a U.S. citizen. He is now a business analyst at Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railways.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Photo: Carlos Barria/Reuters