Here Are the Very Best Bits from President Obama’s Emotional Farewell Speech

“Reality has a way of catching up with you.”


President Barack Obama gave his farewell address on Tuesday night from McCormick Place, a huge convention center in Chicago.

News cameras captured images of the jubilant, 20,000-strong crowd crying and waving smartphones throughout Obama’s speech. “Four more years!” they chanted. (“I can’t do that,” Obama joked.)

The speech capped a turbulent day in the political life of the country, which began with sometimes-fractious confirmation hearings of attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions, and ended with news that intelligence officials told president-elect Donald Trump that Russia might be keeping a compromising dossier on him.

And Obama didn’t waste any time mentioning the upcoming inauguration. “In ten days, the world will witness a hallmark of our democracy: the peaceful transfer of power from one freely-elected president to the next,” he said. “I committed to President-elect Trump that my administration would ensure the smoothest possible transition, just as President Bush did for me.”

He didn’t mention Trump again.

Obama argued he was now leaving the country in better shape than when he took office in 2008—a big applause line came when he spoke about securing “the right to health insurance for another 20 million of our fellow citizens”—while warning that “there are no quick fixes” to some of the country’s most entrenched problems.

Watch some of the best bits from Obama’s final speech above.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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