We Can, We Did, We Can Again
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CHICAGO, IL — After eight years of service in the Oval Office, on Tuesday, January 10, President Barack Obama delivered his Farewell Address to the American people in his hometown of Chicago. As many supporters continuously welcomed Obama to the McCormick Place stage in the evening, Obama began with his easygoing sense of humor.
“We’re on live TV here, I’ve got to move,” Obama urged as the cheering and applause continued. “You can tell I”m a lame duck because nobody is following instructions.”
Despite his joke, the crowd still did not settle down. Shortly after Obama officially started his address, a chant of “Four more years!” started among the crowd.
“I can’t do that,” Obama stated, and with that statement, he took on a more serious but no less genuine tone that would resonate through the rest of his address.
In his final message to the American people, Obama first reminded everyone of their power and ability in bringing about change when they are in America.
“What a radical idea, the great gift that our Founders gave to us,” expressed Obama. “The freedom to chase our individual dreams through our sweat, and toil, and imagination — and the imperative to strive together as well, to achieve a common good, a greater good.”
To further emphasize this inherent potential for change, Obama did not hesitate to highlight the noteworthy accomplishments and events that happened during his presidency. Some of these included winning marriage equality, taking down Osama Bin Laden, and securing the right to health insurance for millions of citizens.
These accomplishments set up Obama’s argument for future change, such as furthering the economic opportunity of the growing middle class, changing how the nation addresses the voices of discontent, and taking bolder action in relation to climate change. Obama followed these statements with an encouragement, asking the American people to fulfill their roles as citizens by taking action.
Obama also took the time to give heartfelt thanks to his family, Vice President Joe Biden, and the White House Staff, who have all been continuously supporting him for the last eight years.
At the end of his speech, Obama brought his presidency to a full circle by asking the American people to believe once again.
“But for now, whether you are young or whether you’re 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,” stated Obama. “I am asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about change — but in yours.”
To further his point, Obama promised “to be right there with you, as a citizen, for all my remaining days.” In stating this commitment, he urges the American people to continue working as he promises to continue bringing about change in America. This promise and message were a suitable end to Obama’s farewell address, which essentially sought to unite the American people through looking back at the last eight years and finding the strength in these memories to maintain hope in the years to come.