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Weekly Address: America’s Resurgence Is Real

Weekly Address: America’s Resurgence Is RealIn this week’s address, the President reflected on the significant progress made by this country in 2014, and in the nearly six years since he took office.

This past year has been the strongest for job growth since the 1990s, contributing to the nearly 11 million jobs added by our businesses over a 57-month streak. America is leading the rest of the world, in containing the spread of Ebola, degrading and ultimately destroying ISIL, and addressing the threat posed by climate change. And earlier this week, the President announced the most significant changes to our policy towards Cuba in over 50 years.

America’s resurgence is real, and the President expressed his commitment to working with Congress in the coming year to make sure Americans feel the benefits.

Watch the President’s Weekly Address now.

Watch the President's Weekly Address.

Top Stories
A Look Back at 2014As 2014 winds down, President Obama stopped by the press briefing room in the White House yesterday to offer his thoughts on what the past year has meant for the country.

“I said that 2014 would be a year of action and would be a breakthrough year for America,” he said. “And it has been.”

If you missed the President’s news conference, check it out here:

Watch the President's news conference here.


Charting a New Course on Cuba

The United States and Cuba are separated by no more than 90 miles of water, but an ideological and economic barrier has hardened between our two countries for the past 50 years. On Wednesday, however, President Obama announced historic new steps to chart a new course in our relations with Cuba.

“Today, America chooses to cut loose the shackles of the past so as to reach for a better future — for the Cuban people, for the American people, for our entire hemisphere, and for the world,” he said.

Learn more about the Cuba announcement here.

Take a deep-dive into the President’s historic actions at WhiteHouse.gov/Cuba-policy.


President Obama Visits the Troops, “Just to Say Thank You”

On Monday, the President traveled to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey to offer his thanks to the U.S. military members and families stationed there and across the world for their service to our country.

“The message I’m here to deliver on behalf of the American people is very simple,” he said. “It’s just to say thank you.”

See the President's full remarks here.

The President also marked an important milestone: After more than 13 years, we are finally bringing a responsible end to America’s war in Afghanistan.

When the President took office, we had nearly 180,000 troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. By the end of this month, we’ll have fewer than 15,000 in both countries. Over the course of six years, we have brought home 90 percent of our troops. And this month, Afghans will take full responsibility for their security.


As always, see more of the week’s events in the latest edition of West Wing Week.

U.S. and Cuba

The White House, Washington


Yesterday, after more than 50 years, we began to change America’s relationship with the people of Cuba.

We are recognizing the struggle and sacrifice of the Cuban people, both in the U.S. and in Cuba, and ending an outdated approach that has failed to advance U.S. interests for decades. In doing so, we will begin to normalize relations between our two countries.

I was born in 1961, just over two years after Fidel Castro took power in Cuba, and just as the U.S. severed diplomatic relations with that country.

Our complicated relationship with this nation played out over the course of my lifetime — against the backdrop of the Cold War, with our steadfast opposition to communism in the foreground. Year after year, an ideological and economic barrier hardened between us.

That previous approach failed to promote change, and it’s failed to empower or engage the Cuban people. It’s time to cut loose the shackles of the past and reach for a new and better future with this country.

I want you to know exactly what our new approach will mean.

First, I have instructed Secretary of State John Kerry to immediately begin discussions with Cuba to re-establish diplomatic relations that have been severed since 1961. Going forward, we will re-establish an embassy in Havana, and high-ranking officials will once again visit Cuba.

Second, I have also instructed Secretary Kerry to review Cuba’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism — a review guided by the facts and the law. At a time when we are focused on threats from ISIL and al Qaeda, a nation that meets our conditions and renounces terrorism should not face such a sanction.

Third, we’ll take steps to increase travel, commerce, and the flow of information to — and from — Cuba. These steps will make it easier for Americans to travel to Cuba. They will make it easier for Americans to conduct authorized trade with Cuba, including exports of food, medicine, and medical products to Cuba. And they will facilitate increased telecommunications connections between our two countries: American businesses will be able to sell goods that enable Cubans to communicate with the United States and other countries.

Learn more about the steps we’re taking to change our policy.

These changes don’t constitute a reward or a concession to Cuba. We are making them because it will spur change among the people of Cuba, and that is our main objective.

Change is hard — especially so when we carry the heavy weight of history on our shoulders.

Our country is cutting that burden loose to reach for a better future.

Thank you,

President Barack Obama

Exciting News to Share … Nina Turner

Team Turner -

I’ve heard from so many of you since Election Day, and I want you to know how much I appreciate your heartfelt words of encouragement and your interest in my future plans. And thanks to each and every one of you – your emails, your phone calls, your hand shakes, and your five and ten dollar donations – I was reminded that although my campaign for Secretary of State came to a disappointing end, the struggle for which we all collectively toiled did not end.

In fact, almost four weeks ago David Pepper and I came together as a team to campaign for our shared vision of how to best lead the Ohio Democratic Party moving forward (see below for details).

I’m excited to share with you that on Tuesday, December 16, the Pepper-Turner vision for the future of our Party was embraced, and David was officially elected as Chair of the Ohio Democratic Party!  I will serve as the Chair of David’s Leadership Team – an ad hoc committee tasked with overseeing the development of a strategic plan to rebuild our infrastructure from the ground up and win elections every year.

All of the Democratic values for which I fought as a State Senator and candidate for Secretary of State matter now more than ever. And your grassroots support, your people power, and your engagement in this process matters just as much as it did during my campaign.

We did not get here on our own, and we can not move forward without you.  We can not fight for a better Ohio, for a better nation and for a stronger democracy without you by our side.       

I wish you a very joyous holiday season and look forward to continuing our journey towards progress in the new year!

All the very best,
P.S. Please see below for the shared vision David and I have for the Party moving forward.

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