The following is an excerpt from Jeremy Stahl | January 10, 2017 | Slate.com |
Barack Obama offered a message of hope and empathy to a gathering of supporters in Chicago during an hourlong farewell address that served as a valedictory for the outgoing president and also an expression of what he says he believes is still possible for this country.
Obama opened the speech by touting his administration’s achievements in combating terrorism, and climate change, and lowering the uninsured rate, and improving the economy from its darkest moments of the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009.
But mainly, he spoke in typically broad themes of reaching across party lines to face common challenges, rhetoric he has embraced from the time that he gave his breakout “red America, blue America” speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, through his 2008 campaign for president, until his final year in office.
“We remain the wealthiest, most powerful, and most respected nation on Earth,” Obama said. “Our youth and drive, our diversity and openness, our boundless capacity for risk and reinvention mean that the future should be ours.”
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