Obama’s final address as the president of the United States took place on January 10 in his hometown, Chicago.
The address revolved round his roots, democracy, racism, socio-economic-equality, terrorism, governance and international politics. Obama did not appear to regret a moment spent in the Oval office during both tenures of his administration.
“It has been the honor of my life to serve you.”
He strongly defended his policies and his signature health care, the Obamacare.
In terms of race, he admitted that the hopes that the term “post-racial America” would be attained during and after his tenure was “never realistic”.
Nevertheless he preached that peace and the age old values of the country be upheld.
In defense of his achievements, Obama had this to say:
“If I had told you eight years ago that America would reverse a great recession, reboot our auto industry, and unleash the longest stretch of job creation in our history,”
“If I had told you that we would open up a new chapter with the Cuban people, shut down Iran’s nuclear weapons program without firing a shot, and take out the mastermind of 9/11,”
“If I had told you that we would win marriage equality, and secure the right to health insurance for another 20 million of our fellow citizens – you might have said our sights were set a little too high.”
“But that’s what we did. That’s what you did. You were the change. You answered people’s hopes, and because of you, by almost every measure, America is a better, stronger place than it was when we started.”
As he defended his policies and achievements in the past 8 years as President of the United States, he also made a call for unity and oneness for all Americans.
He preached the concept of unity in diversity; urging the American people to always keep “the idea that for all our outward differences, we are all in this together; that we rise or fall as one.”
On the issue of terrorism, Obama encouraged Americans to be “vigilant but not afraid”.
“For now, whether you’re young or young at heart, I do have one final ask of you as your president – the same thing I asked when you took a chance on me eight years ago. I am asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about change – but in yours.”
At intervals, his supporters cheered and applauded him with standing ovations.
He thanked the people, his wife Michelle and family, Joe Biden and all who made his administration worth the while for their support and commitment.
In his very own popular signature mantra, Obama concluded his speech saying,
“Yes We Can. Yes We Did. Yes We Can.”