CHICAGO – The outgoing US president Barack Obama delivered his final speech as president amid tears and emotions here on Tuesday.
Addressing a gathering of 18000 people in Chicago, Obama put forth his achievements as head of world super power.
‘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’ he said.
At one point in his speech, the situation became interesting when Obama expressed that he would be replaced by a Republican in a veiled reference to Donald Trump and the crowd chanted ‘no, no, no’.
He termed the peaceful transfer of power from one president to next as the greatest strength of any nation.
The jubilant crowd, yearning for ‘four more years’ of Obama was replied by the man himself as ‘I can’t do that’.
Obama in a soft tone opposed the probable policies of real estate magnate and president-elect Donald Trump and expressed his viewpoint on diverse issues ranging from climate change to future of American Muslims.
‘If you’re tired of arguing with strangers on the internet, try to talk with one in real life’ said Obama.
He called for empathy for the struggles of all Americans from minorities, refugees and transgender people to middle-aged white men whose sense of economic security has been upended in recent years.
The outgoing president also admitted that his dream of a racist free America could not be materialised in true spirit although he paid tribute to his place as America’s first black president.
“Such a vision, however well-intended, was never realistic,” Obama said, though he insisted race relations are better now than a few decades ago.
The 55-years-old president in his signature slogan said ‘Yes We can’ and added ‘Yes, We did’.
Apart from revealing the accomplishments he bagged as president, the emotional Obama lauded the efforts and services of his family including his wife Michelle and daughters Malia and Sasha.
“Michelle LaVaughn Robinson, girl of the south side, for the past 25 years, you have not only been my wife and mother of my children, you have been my best friend,” Obama told the first lady, seated before him dressed all in black.
“You took on a role you didn´t ask for and made it your own with grace and grit and style and good humour,” he told her, amid taking out handkerchief for wiping out tears.
Obama’s 18-years-old daughter Malia was there at the ceremony but the 15-years-old Sasha missed the event reportedly due to her exam, the next morning.
But Obama addressed both girls and said “two amazing young women” they had become, during the family´s eight years in the White House.
“Of all that I have done in my life, I am most proud to be your dad,” he said as Malia shed a few tears with her mother´s arm around her.
“You are smart, and you are beautiful, but more importantly, you are kind, and you are thoughtful, and you are full of passion,” Obama told them.
“And you bore the burden of years in the spotlight so easily.” outgoing 44th president Barack Obama added.