On Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, in his hometown of Chicago, the 44th president of the United States, Barack Obama, gave his farewell address. Wife Michelle and daughter Malia were both in attendance, however his younger daughter, Sasha, was not there, sparking attention. However, it was later learned that she stayed in Washington D.C. to study for an exam she had the next morning.
After beginning his speech and recapping a bit, the crowd started chanting “four more years,” to which he replied that he couldn’t.
He took on the topic of national security, saying: “Boston and Orlando and San Bernardino and Fort Hood remind us of how dangerous radicalization can be, [but] our law enforcement agencies are more effective and vigilant than ever. We have taken out tens of thousands of terrorists, including Bin Laden...and no one who threatens America will ever be safe.”
He also reminded the audience that betraying American principles would be the country’s downfall, claiming that “Rivals like Russia and China cannot match our influence around the world — unless we give up what stand for… we’re all in this together...we rise or fall as one.” The former president also addressed religion, women, and LGBT rights in his speech. He honored all those that have served our country.
President Obama also gave a shout out which, to some, felt like more of a love letter, to now-former First Lady Michelle Obama, stating: "For the past 25 years, you have not only been my wife and mother of my children, you have been my best friend. You took on a role you didn't ask for, and you made it your own, with grace and with grit and with style… you have made me proud, and you have made the country proud.”
Next, he addressed his two daughters. He described them both as “kind and thoughtful and full of passion.” There was no mention of Sasha’s absence.
Finally, he turned to his vice president, Joe Biden. "You were the first decision I made as a nominee, and it was the best. Not just because you have been a great vice president, but because in the bargain I gained a brother."
Towards the end of his speech, Obama does arguably what he does best: stirring up emotions in the crowd. He said that he had done the “job of his life” and made it clear that he won’t be retiring anytime soon. He used his speech to send out the overall message that American democracy is only possible because of the promise of inclusiveness and diversity. He used his speech to once again relay the idea that we need to stand together as one nation and to remember the diversity between us, something that he's worked hard to maintain and foster throughout his presidency.