US President Barack Obama wiped away tears as he gave an emotional thank you message to his wife, First Lady Michelle Obama during his emotional farewell speech on Tuesday night in his adopted hometown of Chicago. The speech was held at Chicago’s McCormick Place.
He talked about the challenges and achievements of his two-term presidency. He remained optimistic and urged people to participate in the democratic process and fight racism. He concluded his speech by calling Michelle a ‘role model’ for the country, as well as his ‘best friend’.
‘Michelle – for the past twenty-five years, you’ve been not only my wife and mother of my children, but my best friend.
‘You took on a role you didn’t ask for and made it your own with grace and grit and style and good humor.’
Michelle smiled and appeared to hold back tears while Malia cried. The president paused to wiped away a tear before he continued:
‘You made the White House a place that belongs to everybody. And a new generation sets its sights higher because it has you as a role model. ‘You’ve made me proud, and you’ve made the country proud.’
Then he went on to thank his two children:
‘Malia and Sasha, under the strangest of circumstances, you have become two amazing young women, smart and beautiful, but more importantly, kind and thoughtful and full of passion. ‘You wore the burden of years in the spotlight so easily. Of all that I’ve done in my life, I’m most proud to be your dad.’
A White House official then released a statement that Sasha had stayed at home in Washington DC because she had a test at school today.
Supporters stomped on the bleachers set up behind the president and shouted ‘four more years’ over a disruption.
But Obama said:
‘My fellow Americans,’ ‘Michelle and I have been so touched by all the well-wishes we’ve received over the past few weeks.’ Every day, I learned from you. You made me a better President, and you made me a better man.’
He added: ‘You were the change’ and thanked the country for keeping him honest.