President Barack Obama’s journey as the leader of the United States of America came full circle Tuesday night in Chicago.
Eight years ago, he was at McCormick Place in Grant Park, delivering his acceptance speech for the presidency. Tuesday evening he was back, but this time, he was saying goodbye.
“My fellow Americans, it has been the honor of my life to serve you,” President Obama said to a packed and enthusiastic convention center.
Mr. Obama’s speech felt familiar coming from the leader. He offered a sense of hope -- one last time -- to the American people, the same slogan he used during his 2008 presidential campaign.
From a warm standing ovation to the crowd chanting “four more years,” there were several key moments during Mr. Obama’s farewell address. Here are seven that stood out:
1. Defining a legacy
In a nod to his legacy, Mr. Obama said the country is in a better and stronger place than when he first took office. He highlighted what he said is one of the longest streaks in job growth in the country’s history.
He also reminded the American people about his signature bill, the Affordable Care Act. He challenged Republicans who are working to repeal the health bill by saying that if someone could come up with something better that he would fully support it.
2. Peaceful transition
Honoring the tradition of a peaceful transition of power, Mr. Obama assured the crowd that he was committed to helping President-elect Donald Trump achieve a smooth transition to the Oval Office. Some in the crowd bursted into boos, but Mr. Obama waved them away.
“I committed to President-elect Trump that my administration would ensure the smoothest possible transition, just as President Bush did for me,” he said.
3. Different view points
Mr. Obama challenged people to be open to other political view points.
“For too many of us, it’s become safer to retreat into our own bubbles, whether in our neighborhoods or college campuses or places of worship or our social media feeds,” he said. “We become so secure in our bubbles that we accept only information, whether true or not, that fits our opinions, instead of basing our opinions on the evidence that’s out there.”
4. Obama tears up while talking about Michelle
In a touching acknowledgement, Mr. Obama directly addressed his wife, First Lady Michelle Obama.
“You have been my best friend. You took on a role you didn’t ask for and you made it your own,” he said.
Mr. Obama wiped away tears as he praised his wife for her honor, grace and grit during her time as the first lady.
5. Joe Biden
Although the internet may like to poke fun at the duo from time to time, Mr. Obama wasn’t shy about his friendship to Vice President Joe Biden during his speech.
“You were the first choice I made as a nominee, and the best. Not just because you have been a great vice president, but because in the bargain, I gained a brother.”
Mr. Obama added that their friendship was “one of the great joys of our life.”
6. Malia and Sasha
Mr. Obama also addressed his daughters during an emotional moment.
“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,” he said. “I’m most proud to be your dad,”
However, Sasha was notably absent during the speech. The White House said in a statement Tuesday evening that she has an exam Wednesday morning and stayed back in D.C.
7. Always have hope
Mr. Obama encouraged the American people to not lose hope in the Democratic process.
“There will be times when the process disappoints you... but it can energize and inspire,” he said.
And he ended his speech on a positive note.
“Yes we can. Yes we did. Yes we can,” he said and the crowd cheered.