New Delhi, January 11: With 9 days left in tenure, US 44th President Barack Obama, said goodbye to the nation on Tuesday night(US time) leaving behind several teary-eyed followers.
Obama ended his farewell speech with "Yes we can", the phrase he started with eight years ago. Popular for his humble and friendly nature, Obama has left a huge void in the White House.
Obama acknowledged the White House staff, Vice-President Joe Biden, his family and the countrymen for supporting him in his presidential tenure.
Here are some major highlights from the address of Obama, the country’s first black president
#After my election, there was talk of a post-racial America. Such a vision, however well-intended, was never realistic. For race remains a potent and often divisive force in our society.
But we’re not where we need to be.
If we decline to invest in the children of immigrants, just because they don’t look like us, we diminish the prospects of our own children – because those brown kids will represent a larger share of America’s workforce.
# For blacks and other minorities, it means tying our own struggles for justice to the challenges that a lot of people in this country face – the refugee, the immigrant, the rural poor, the transgender American, and also the middle-aged white man who from the outside may seem like he’s got all the advantages, but who’s seen his world upended by economic, cultural, and technological change.
#Politics is a battle of ideas. That’s how democracy was designed. But without some common baseline of facts. Without a willingness to admit new information and that your opponent might be making a fair point and that science and reason matter, then we’re doing to keep talking past each other. And it will make common ground and compromise impossible.
Obama spoke about climate change, what President-elect Donald Trump had completely refused to believe.
# But without bolder action, our children won’t have time to debate the existence of climate change; they’ll be busy dealing with its effects: environmental disasters, economic disruptions, and waves of climate refugees seeking sanctuary. Now, we can and should argue about the best approach to the problem. But to simply deny the problem not only betrays future generations; it betrays the essential spirit of innovation and practical problem-solving that guided our founders.
# No foreign terrorist organisation has successfully planned and executed an attack on our homeland these past eight years,” says Obama, although he notes the issue of home-grown terrorists such as the Boston marathon bombing and San Bernardino massacre.
"To all who serve, it has been the honour of my lifetime to be your Commander-in-Chief,” he says, resulting in a standing ovation.
# “I reject discrimination against Muslim Americans,” says Obama, while the audience breaks into thunderous applause and cheers
The outgoing president spoke about liberalism as well.
# So let’s be vigilant, but not afraid ISIL will try to kill innocent people. But they cannot defeat America unless we betray our Constitution and our principles in the fight. Rivals like Russia or China cannot match our influence around the world – unless we give up what we stand for, and turn ourselves into just another big country that bullies smaller neighbours.
The moment Obama referred to his speech as "final point," the listeners interrupts with cheers of "no". That's when Obama spoke about the precarious nature of democracy.
# All of us, regardless of party, should throw ourselves into the task of rebuilding our democratic institutions. Our Constitution is a remarkable, beautiful gift. But it’s really just a piece of parchment. It has no power on its own. We, the people, give it power – with our participation, and the choices we make.
The audience erupts and gives the First Lady a standing ovation as soon as Obama spoke the word 'Michelle'.
# “For the past twenty-five years, you’ve been not only my wife and mother of my children but my best friend. You took on a role you didn’t ask for and made it your own with grace and grit and style and good humour,” says Obama, getting out a white handkerchief and wiping away tears.
Obama spoke about his daughter Malia and Sasha. He turns to Malia who was present in the audience.
#You have become two amazing young women, smart and beautiful, but more importantly, kind and thoughtful and full of passion. You wore the burden of years in the spotlight so easily. Of all that I’ve done in my life, I’m most proud to be your dad.
Obama paid a heart-warming tribute to vice-president Joe Biden, who was his friend, brother and meme companion.
#The scrappy kid from Scranton who became Delaware’s favourite son: you were the first choice I made as a nominee and the best,” says Obama, while the crowd gives Biden a standing ovation. He calls Biden a “brother” and “like family.
Last but not the least, Obama paid tribute to his staff, who were wiping away tears.
# “I leave this stage tonight even more optimistic about this country than when we started."
#My fellow Americans, it has been the honour of my life to serve you. I won’t stop; in fact, I will be right there with you, as a citizen, for all my days that remain.
#I am asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about change – but in yours. I am asking you to hold fast to that faith written into our founding documents; that idea whispered by slaves and abolitionists; that spirit sang by immigrants and homesteaders and those who marched for justice; that creed reaffirmed by those who planted flags from foreign battlefields to the surface of the moon; a creed at the core of every American whose story is not yet written.
Yes We Can
Yes We Did
Yes We Can.