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Obama’s Political Journey: Launched, Concluded in Chicago | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Former U.S. President Barack Obama on his farewell speech. – Reuters

Washington – Thousands of people in Chicago were waiting for Barack Obama’s farewell speech after eight years of presidency. Obama spoke to the American people and thanked those who supported him and those who opposed his policies.

“And every day, I have learned from you. You made me a better president, and you made me a better man” said Obama, who also stressed his belief in people’s capacity on making change.

The Democratic President, who will hand over the U.S. Administration on 20 January to the Republican Donald Trump, 70, has chosen Chicago, which witnessed the debut of his political journey, to address his final speech as a president in the White House. During his warm speech, Obama was accompanied by his wife Michelle, and his Vice President Joe Biden in the heart of this big city.

While Obama seemed to be very emotional, he called people for awareness saying that democracy can be deteriorated if people gave up to fear. He said democracy will be threatened each time people take it for granted. He added that the U.S. constitution is a valuable gift, but said it will be powerless alone.

The Former U.S. President shed lights on the achievements reached during both his presidency rounds, mainly the provision of job opportunities, the reform of health insurance system, and the termination of Osama bin Laden.

Obama also warned from racism saying it is a moral issue in the United States – he called all people, from all political parties, to commit to the rebuilding of national democratic institution.

The former president sought to reassure his supporters who have been shocked with Trump’s election, by stressing his trust in the people of the United states and its power to achieve advancement, according to AFP.

On Chicago Obama said: “So I first came to Chicago when I was in my early twenties, and I was still trying to figure out who I was; still searching for a purpose to my life. And it was a neighborhood not far from here where I began working with church groups in the shadows of closed steel mills”.

He continued: “But to simply deny the problem not only betrays future generations, it betrays the essential spirit of this country, the essential spirit of innovation and practical problem-solving that guided our founders”.

It is worth noting that Obama also chose this city to address his first presidential speech on 5 November 2008.

People rushed early on Saturday to get free tickets from Obama’s speech and waited in queues despite the freezing weather. A survey conducted by the independent Quinnipiac University showed that 55% of voters back Obama’s presidential performance, which was considered the highest rate for a president since seven years.