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In Emotional Speech, President Obama Says Goodbye
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10 Jan 2017 10:14 PM EST

- by Jorge Vargas, Editor


President Barack Obama said goodbye to the United States of America in his final speech to the nation on Tuesday night.

Obama, quoting George Washington's Farewell Address and then getting teary-eyed while talking about the importance of his wife in his life, gave a speech that challenged Americans to think bigger and move beyond fear. 

He also admonished Americans for not moving outside of their social media silos and asked them to speak to one another and to acknowledge when their political opponents have good ideas, and to get news from sources they don't agree with. 

Obama also called President Vladimir Putin out, without mentioning him by name, lumping anti-change autocrats as being as much of a threat to the United States as ISIS. He called on all Americans to respect and protect the sanctity of the political process, in a message to Donald Trump. 

Obama's words were aimed, as his best speeches usually are, toward the future and toward young people (and, as he said, toward 'the young at heart'). He talked about global warming and how political discourse needs to, as a minimum, acknowledge basic facts and science. Obama, sober about the challenges facing the country, dedicated a great portion of his speech to speaking about science and decency and how the nation needs to rally around both in order to continue growing.

Of course, he also said goodbye. He spoke at length about his wife, Michele Obama, and his daughters. He sang praises of Vice-President Joe Biden, who he called his 'brother,' in moments that were extremely moving for the audience. 

There were no surprises in the speech. Instead, tonight's speech was about hope and decency and high-mindedness, and it felt almost like a mentor or, dare one say, like a parent speaking to the more than half of voters who opted for someone other than Donald Trump and who are viewing the next four years with fear and apprehension.

He thanked many people toward the end of his speech. We would like to thank him, in turn. 

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