President Barack Obama said goodbye to the nation Tuesday night in Chicago, declaring during his powerful farewell speech that he hasn’t abandoned his vision of progressive change but warning that it now comes with a new set of caveats.
His voice at moments catching with emotion, Obama recounted a presidency that saw setbacks as well as successes. Moving from his achievements in office to the varied challenges facing the country, he addressed a vast range of topics, everything from race relations to climate change to fake news and social bubbles – with nods to Atticus Finch and George Washington along the way. Admitting candidly that political discourse has soured under his watch, Obama demanded that Americans renew efforts at reconciliation.
“It falls to each of us to be those anxious, jealous guardians of our democracy,” the President said. “To embrace the joyous task we’ve been given to continually try to improve this great nation of ours.”
It was near the end, though, when he talked of his love for Michelle and his pride in his kids – and the bromance with Biden of course – that things really reached fever pitch among the impassioned crowd, leading to a standing ovation.
Watch the entire emotional speech here: