Yesterday, Barack Hussein Obama, gave his presidential farewell speech in the city where his improbable path to the White House began so many years ago … Chicago.
“It’s good to be home,” said the 44th President to a massive group of well-wishers gathered at the filled-to-capacity McCormick Place Convention Center.
Speaking of his adopted hometown, the President said, “I first came to Chicago when I was in my early 20s, still trying to figure out who I was; still searching for a purpose to my life.”
“Some of you here tonight or watching at home were there with us in 2004, in 2008, in 2012 – and maybe you still can’t believe we pulled this whole thing off, “ said Obama.
Indeed! Reminding the crowd of his administration’s accomplishments despite almost total Republican obstructionism throughout his eight years in office, the president remarked:
“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.”
For a good portion of his speech, the former constitutional law professor gave his listeners a comprehensive lesson on the meaning of democracy and the brilliance of our Founding Fathers in drafting the Constitution.
“Our Constitution is a remarkable, beautiful gift,” said the President. “But it’s really just a piece of parchment. It has no power on its own. We, the people, give it power – with our participation, and the choices we make.”
The crowd at the convention center made their feelings known from the moment the President stepped onto the stage, clapping and shouting: “Four more years!, Four more years! and I love you Obama!”
By the end if his speech, there probably wasn’t a dry eye in the place. Even the President got a little teary-eyed talking about his family.
President Obama’s final speech while in office was nothing short of a glorious celebration; a lovefest. And it reminded everyone of the grace and dignity the man brought to the Oval Office … in stark contrast to its soon-to-be new occupant.
Photo | elle.com