US President Barack Obama delivered his final address in Chicago on Tuesday. Speaking to his wife Michelle, Obama said that she has been not only his wife for the past 25 years and the mother of his children, but also his best friend.
He called her a role model and says a new generation sets its sights higher because of her. He also added that he’s most proud to be Malia and Sasha’s dad.
While thanking Joe Biden Obama said, “Not just because you have been a great Vice-President, but because in the bargain, I gained a brother.”
During his speech, he recalled the key highlights of his presidency – including bouncing back from the recession, rebooting the auto industry, opening up a new chapter with Cuba, shutting down Iran’s nuclear weapons and taking out the mastermind of the 9/11 terror attack, among others.
Yes, our progress has been uneven. The work of democracy has always been hard, contentious and sometimes bloody. For every two steps forward, it often feels we take one step back
In a veiled jibe at President-elect Donald Trump, Obama cautioned the incoming administration against making big changes with rival countries.
Rivals like Russia or China cannot match our influence around the world – unless we give up what we stand for, and turn ourselves into just another big country that bullies smaller neighbours.
In his farewell speech, Obama spoke about the evils of racial inequality and reiterated that “stark inequality” is corrosive to the nation's democratic principles.
Many families in inner cities and rural counties have been left behind, Obama said, adding that many are convinced that the “game is fixed against them” and that the government only serves powerful interests.
This, he said, is a “recipe for more cynicism and polarisation in our politics”.
Obama told the crowd at the event that even after eight years in the White House, he was still a staunch believer in change.
Video Editor: Prashant Bhardwaj
(This article has been republished from The Quint’s archives on the occasion of Michelle Obama’s 53rd birthday. It was first published on 11 January 2017.)