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Ahead of the final Obama State of the Union address, PBS host Tavis Smiley assessed the presidency of Barack Obama in an interview with Megyn Kelly. 

Smiley, author of "The Covenant with Black America," said that in hindsight, Obama should have started with job creation as his top issue, rather than a "divisive" new health care law.

"If you can give Americans jobs, particularly jobs with a living wage, then you can get away with a great deal more," he said.

Megyn Kelly asked whether the country is better off in terms of race relations than it was in 2008. 

Smiley said he's "not sure" the country is better off and that he feels Obama "missed a moment" on that front.

Smiley said that black Americans, who are Obama's most loyal supporters, "did not gain any ground" in the seven years since Obama took office.

He said that Obama may not have been "bold" enough when he entered office, but also faced obstruction from Republicans.

"Historians are gonna have a field day trying to juxtapose how in the era of the first black president, the bottom fell out for black America. Black people were still politically marginalized, socially manipulated and economically exploited," he said.

See more from Smiley in the video above and tune in tonight at 11:00pm ET for a special live "Kelly File" after the State of the Union address. Here's the lineup.


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