The White House Blog: The President

  • Upskill America: The President's Plan to Help Hardworking Americans Earn Higher-Paying Jobs

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    Yesterday, President Obama traveled to Boise State University in Idaho -- his first time in the Gem State. Here's why: 

    For six years, President Obama and the American people have been working hard to lay a new, stronger foundation for our economy -- one that's based on what works: middle-class economics. That means building an economy on the idea that this country does best when everyone gets their fair shot and can feel more secure in a world of constant change. 

    A key part of that is ensuring that millions of hardworking Americans have the chance to earn the higher-paying jobs of the future -- in coding, nursing, and robotics. That's why, in his State of the Union address, the President called on businesses to take the lead on helping their employees upgrade their skills without having to upheave their lives to do it. 

    That's why the President stopped in Idaho. He's calling on businesses across the country to "Upskill America" -- to help workers of all ages earn a shot at better, high-paying jobs, even if they don't have higher education. 

    So here's what we know: 

  • Happening Today: YouTube Creators Interview President Obama Live from the White House

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    This is a pretty big deal:

    Each year, the President typically spends the days following a State of the Union address answering questions and elaborating on the plans he's laid out for the year. That can mean interviews with reporters, speeches across the country, or even chatting with folks from their homes.

    But because we're constantly looking for ways to reach folks we don't usually get to talk to, today we're doing something different:

    We've invited three of YouTube's top content creators to the White House to interview the President about the issues they -- and their audiences -- care most about. 

    You can watch it all live at 5 p.m. Eastern at And in the meantime, you can join the conversation online using #YouTubeAsksObama.

  • Precision Medicine: Improving Health and Treating Disease

    Last night, at his 2015 State of the Union Address, President Obama announced that he is launching a new precision medicine initiative that will help deliver the right treatment to the right patient at the right time.

    Many of you may be wondering: What exactly is “precision medicine,” and how can it transform medicine as it is practiced today?

    Today, most medical treatments have been designed for the “average patient.” In too many cases, this “one-size-fits-all” approach isn’t effective, as treatments can be very successful for some patients but not for others. Precision medicine is an emerging approach to promoting health and treating disease that takes into account individual differences in people’s genes, environments, and lifestyles, making it possible to design highly effective, targeted treatments for cancer and other diseases. In short, precision medicine gives clinicians new tools, knowledge, and therapies to select which treatments will work best for which patients.

  • The Economic Message of Last Night's State of the Union, in Three Images:

    Here's a piece of the State of the Union process you might not have known about:

    A couple hours before the President heads to the Capitol, we print out a "pocket card" for Members of Congress so they can get all the facts in one easy-to-read place. Staffers print out a big stack of the cards in the basement of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, and send them over to Congress in a van.

    Staffers head up to the main floor of the Capitol, where they stack the pocket cards in the cloakrooms adjacent to the chamber. Fun fact: That's also where Members' advance copies of the speech are printed, before they're passed out in the Chamber itself, about ten minutes before the speech.

    Even-more-fun fact: This year, the American people got their own advance copy of the speech, too. We posted it on Medium, complete with helpful charts and graphics to help drill down on the President's points. Take a look -- and leave notes about your favorite parts.

    You can take a look at the actual pocket card that Members received last night here -- but it's a little dense.

    So here are the main points, broken down in three images from our enhanced speech last night. Consider it your digital pocket card:

  • The Enhanced 2015 State of the Union: By the Numbers

    Every year, we do everything we can to step up our game around the State of the Union, using new approaches to engage the public online in different and compelling ways. We want to give people a better way to understand the President’s policies and why they’re important to them and their communities. This year, the goal was no different, but we rolled out an exciting new a range of improved platforms, coordinating with the White House policy and speechwriting offices to build digital content into the speech itself. Find out more here.

  • The Can't-Miss Moments from the 2015 State of the Union Address

    President Obama delivers the State of the Union address, Jan. 20, 2015.

    President Barack Obama delivers the State of the Union address in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Jan. 20, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    "Fifteen years into this new century, we have picked ourselves up, dusted ourselves off, and begun again the work of remaking America. We have laid a new foundation. A brighter future is ours to write."


    Last night, President Obama stood on the House floor of the Capitol to deliver his sixth State of the Union Address to Congress and the American people.

    It was a memorable night -- with inspiring guests, important proposals, and a few irreverant quips here and there. It's a must-see speech, so if you missed it, watch the enhanced version here. But if you're looking to relive the highlights, here are a few of our favorite, can't-miss moments from the evening. 

    Middle-Class Economics: "It's Time"

    From raising the minimum wage and equal pay to child care and paid leave, there's a lot that we can do in America to give hardworking, middle-class families a fair shot at getting ahead. 

  • Watch: President Obama's 2015 State of the Union

    "A brighter future is ours to write. Let's begin this new chapter -- together -- and let's start the work right now."

    Those were a few of President Obama's final words as he finished delivering his sixth State of the Union address moments ago.

    He spoke not just about where we are as nation, but where we're going.

    This is a speech you don't want to miss -- so if you didn't see it live, make sure you watch the full enhanced version now.

    Watch on YouTube

  • In Case You Missed It: How We Honored Dr. King

    In 1994, Congress designated the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday as a national day of service -- a "day on, not a day off." The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Day of Service is an opportunity for all Americans to honor Dr. King by coming together to help meet the needs of their communities and recommit to service throughout the year. Throughout the day yesterday, the President and the First Lady, the Vice President, Cabinet secretaries, and other senior Administration officials participated in a number of community service projects both in DC and throughout the nation. 

    Here's How We Honored Dr. King:

    President Obama 

  • Enhancing the 2015 State of the Union: Announcing Our "River of Content"

    We’re constantly on the lookout for new ways to use digital channels to better engage with the public and give people a way to participate and interact with President Obama. Since 2011, a big part of that has been the "enhanced" version of the President’s State of the Union address, adding charts and graphics to give a deeper look at why policies are pursued, and what they mean for the American people. The format has improved over the years, including last year’s page which incorporated a real-time "tweetserver" that enabled users to share content in real time.

    This year, we've been hard at work -- and tomorrow, we'll be rolling out a whole new stream of supporting material at We’re calling it our “river of content." In addition to the enhanced livestream that features graphics augmenting the speech, the river will provide a series of discrete pieces of content, or "boats," that showcase expanded, standalone views into Administration policy -- often with an interactive or personalized component. It’s part of an effort to make policy more specific and interesting, and more relevant to the people who will be affected.

  • Get Ready: President Obama’s State of the Union Address is One Day Away

    One day from today on Tuesday, January 20, President Obama will go to the U.S. Capitol and present his sixth State of the Union address to Congress and the American public.

    The State of the Union is a time-honored tradition where the President updates Congress on his plans for the upcoming year, and speaks to the American people about his Administration’s priorities and policies.

    The First Lady accompanies the President to the Capitol to hear him speak. Over the past three decades it has become a tradition that the First Lady also invites several honored guests – Americans who have done something to deserve recognition - to join her in the First Lady’s box to listen to the President’s address. 

    Jimmy Carter First Lady Box

    The First Lady’s Box at the 1979 State of the Union. January 23, 1979. (by the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum of the National Archives and Records Administration.)