US President-elect Barack Obama has placed a personal stress on hope, peace and possibility. He has taken time out from an end-of-year holiday in Hawaii to record a Christmas message. He reached out to Americans overseas, drawing attention to their sacrifice.
Obama said: “This holiday season, their families celebrate with a joy that is muted knowing that a loved one is absent, and sometimes in danger. In towns and cities across America, there is an empty seat at the dinner table. In distant bases and on ships at sea, our servicemen and women can only wonder at the look on their child’s face as they open a gift back home.” Obama asked Americans to recall historic acts of courage to inspire them for the future and sustain them now. “These are also tough times for many Americans struggling in our sluggish economy as we count the higher blessings of faith and family, we know that millions of Americans don’t have a job. Many more are struggling to pay the bills or stay in their homes. From students to seniors, the future seems uncertain.” Official figures showed American employers sacrificed 533-thousand jobs in November. This will be a large part of Obama’s agenda when he takes office on January 20.