After eight years, and countless memorable feats, Barack Obama has entered the final stages of his presidency. It’s been an eventful ride, and the first African-American to hold the nation’s highest office had plenty to say in the twilight of his term.
Returning to his native Chicago, he addressed the nation for the final time as its leader, and in a passionate and emotional speech, he defended his legacy, and warned against the potential dangers of the coming years. He also thanked his wife and family for standing by him throughout his tenure, and there were more than a few tears shed in the convention hall where the master orator gave perhaps his greatest performance.
In the 4,300 words that made up Obama’s farewell address, the name Trump came up once -but as with all of his speeches, the key was in the subtext, and he urged Americans to pay close attention to the “state of our democracy”, and reminded us all that “in 10 days, the world will witness a hallmark of our democracy”.
Close friends and work colleagues of Obama, as well as news outlets around the world, were witness to the President’s goodbye, and his speech was immortalised on camera.
Turn to the next page to watch Obama’s emotional final address. With Donald Trump a mere 10 days from taking residence in the White House, Barack Obama said goodbye to the world at large in a heartfelt and powerful final address to the nation.
Taking the stage to raucous applause, Obama thanked the American people for all of their support throughout his presidency, saying that his work in the United States has made him a better man. He then defended his legacy, which has come under fire despite managing to rescue the auto industry, navigate a Great Recession, as well as to take out “the mastermind of 9/11” in Osama Bin Laden.
As he leaves office, Barack Obama urged Americans to keep fighting for democracy, as fears intensify following increased terrorist attacks, and the rampant xenophobia that’s emerged as a result of these atrocities.
He then thanked his family for their support during his time in the White House, and in a emotionally charged address, this is the moment that broke Obama.
Finally, in a reprise of the famous tagline that underlined his successful campaign in 2008, “Yes We Can”, he says his goodbye to the American people, extending the phrase to “Yes We Did.”
While it’s not uncommon for a president to be divisive, I think we can agree that following a host of scandals from the likes of Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon, Barack Obama has conducted himself with exemplary grace throughout his term. While hopeful for the next four to eight years, the majority of the country, if not the world, is going to miss Obama.
As the days till Donald Trump’s inauguration ticks down to single digits, many people are preparing for the former Apprentice host’s term in the highest office. Obama wasn’t the only person to subtly talk about Trump in their speech; at the Golden Globes, Meryl Streep also used her acceptance speech to call out Donald Trump.