The Current

Obama's legacy: despite promises, it's not good on Guantanamo

Last night's state of the union address has us asking what more president Obama will accomplish between now and election day? Today, we look at Obama's presidency, and hear from people with personal connections to the key issues of gun control, Obamacare, and Guantanamo.
U.S. President Barack Obama waves at the conclusion of his final State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in Washington January 12, 2016. (Reuters/Evan Vucci/Poo)
"For my final address to this chamber, I don't want to talk just about the next year. I want to focus on the next five years, 10 years and beyond."-President Obama in his state of the union address Tuesday night-  President Obama in his state of the union address Tuesday night

It's been nearly eight years now since Barack Obama was first elected in an atmosphere of hope and change. And, though last night's state of the union address made clear that there's still plenty he wants to do before this fall's election, the legacy of the Obama years is also coming into view.

The military prison in Guantanamo Bay was on his mind last night, just as it has been for most of his presidency. 
In fact, one of his very first acts in office in 2009 was signing an earlier executive order to close the controversial prison. Seven years later, Guantanamo, or course, remains open. 

Despite strong words last night, many remain skeptical that President Obama will follow through on his latest promise. David Remes is a lawyer representing 16 of the 104 detainees still being held at Guantanamo. We reached him there awaiting meetings with clients later today.

One issue that's been a thorn in side of this president has been gun violence, and gun control – particularly since the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012. President Obama called for change then but it was only last week that he finally announced an executive order to toughen some existing gun control measures.

♦ How Often Do Mass Shootings Occur? On Average, Every Day, Records Show

Coni Sanders has been waiting for action on gun control since her father Dave, a teacher, was killed in the Columbine High School shooting. She's now a forensic therapist who works with violent offenders. She joined us from Denver, Colorado. 

Obama on social security and medicare

6 years ago
Duration 1:08
President Barack Obama delivers his final annual report card on the U.S.

And if there's a signature piece of legislation from the Obama presidency, it must be the one with his name on it: Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act, as it's more formally known. President Obama said last night 18 million people have gained coverage.

♦ Obamacare Statistics: Study Shows Number Of Insured And Uninsured By State, Race, Age

Martin Wolske's son Eric was 23 when he was in a road accident. He credits Obamacare for Eric having health insurance at the time. Martin Wolske joined us from Champaign, Illinois.

Has President Obama delivered on what you expected? What do you want to see him accomplish in his last year in office?

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This segment was produced by The Current's John Chipman and Karin Marley.