Even at the end of seven good and prosperous years, a president's final State of the Union address is a tough act. There is no one left to blame. By this point in a presidency, he owns the current state of the union.
Imagine what it must be like after seven terrible years.
The economy remains on the precipice of disaster, terrorism romps the globe, our mortal enemies are hoarding nuclear material and test nukes, illegal immigration goes virtually unchecked, unemployment and underemployment haunt towns and families everywhere and the president's signature achievement on health care - by almost any standard - has only made things worse.
Oh, and just hours before the president was to address Congress, Iran captured 10 U.S. sailors and two naval boats. But, really, the state of the union is just freaking great.
Ever adept at slapping lipstick on a pig, the White House wrote, rewrote, spun, twisted and fabricated President Obama's final address into rainbows and unicorns.
But here, exclusively, are excerpts of the State of the Union address President Obama actually wanted to deliver to Congress on Tuesday night:
"Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, members of Congress, distinguished guests and fellow Americans: The state of our union is great, considering there is only one Me and 535 of you losers.
"And nine more losers over on the Supreme Court who keep getting the Constitution all wrong. I mean, don't they understand I was a constitutional law professor?
"The state of the union got a little better earlier this month, no thanks to you gutless bloodlusters, since I took executive action to crack down on the most law-abiding gun owners in the country. I have freed up all our resources from going after gangbangers so we can really concentrate on hobbyists buying, selling and trading guns from their private collections.
"Still working on making the state of the union even better by just releasing the most determined terrorists held at our prison in Guantanamo Bay. Since you idiots won't let me bring them here, I am going to just return them to the battlefield. Once Gitmo is emptied out, I am going to give the base back to Cuba, where Michelle and I plan to retire after I am finished fixing all your miserable problems.
"Also, no thanks to you, I have brought hundreds of thousands of illegal future Democratic voters out of the shadows. In short order, we will make them eligible for work permits and welfare. Again, no thanks to you losers.
"Along those same lines, I have single-handedly made the state of the union even better by putting up a giant welcome sign on our southern border encouraging thousands and thousands more illegals into the United States. They, too, will be future Democratic voters and soon they, too, will be productive participants in our welfare state.
"Perhaps my crowning achievement, again no thanks to you, was finally forcing America to live up to European standards regarding global warming. The Paris accord, which I signed without any help from you dirty people, finally brings America into the modern ages.
"Thank you. God bless you. God bless the United States of America and In Obama we Trust!"
• Charles Hurt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter via @charleshurt.