BARACK Obama had tears in his eyes as he paid tribute to wife Michelle during his final speech as President.
“You made the White House a place that belongs to everybody,” the outgoing Commander-in-Chief told the First Lady. “And a new generation sets its sights higher because it has you as a role model. You’ve made me proud. You’ve made the country proud.”
Speaking to a huge crowd in his hometown of Chicago, the President talked of his legacy and tried to reassure Americans nervous about their future under Donald Trump.
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“By almost every measure, America is a better, stronger place” than it was eight years ago when he took office, he said, warning, “democracy is threatened whenever we take it for granted”.
America’s potential, he said: “Will be realised only if our democracy works. Only if our politics reflect the decency of our people. Only if all of us help restore the sense of common purpose that we so badly need right now”.
As the crowd chanted “Four more years”, Obama simply shook his head and said: “I can’t do that.”
There were tributes too for his daughters, Malia and Sasha, and to Vice-President Joe Biden.
He summed up with a promise: “My fellow Americans, it has been the honor of my life to serve you. For now, whether you’re young or young at heart, I do have one final ask of you as your President – the same thing I asked when you took a chance on me eight years ago.
“I am asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about change – but in yours.”