It’s a wrap. President of the United States, Barack H Obama, signs off for the Republican billionaire Donald Trump to take over the Oval Office on Friday.
In the last eight years -- September 11 mastermind Osama bin Laden was killed, a global climate deal was struck to stall global warming, US’ diplomatic ties with Cuba were renewed after over 50 years of severance, LGBT marriages were legalised in America, the Iraq war ended, policy was shifted to ‘pivot’ Asia, Iran nuclear deal was implemented, etc.
Yet, Obama will not be remembered only for these political and social developments through his tenure. He is, and will possibly be, the only pop-culture icon who is also the ‘Leader of the New World’.
Here are some of the other moments to remember Obama by:
Obama’s first tweet:
We couldn’t believe it either!
Hello, Twitter! It's Barack. Really! Six years in, they're finally giving me my own account.— President Obama (@POTUS) May 18, 2015
Talk show appearances:
Obama was the first sitting President to appear as a guest on the popular The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in 2009. He kept up the tradition by appearing on various talk shows through his presidency, including slow-jamming news with Jimmy Kimmel, dancing with Ellen deGeneres or even reading out mean tweets directed at him.
Here’s a sneak peak:
There are friendship goals and then there are Obama and Biden. The Democrat President’s ‘bromance’ with Joe Biden is a friendship goal idolised by many. Who won’t miss those stolen glances and the playful banter. After all, vice-president Biden was the “best decision” Obama ever made as a nominee.
Could it BE any more cheesy!
He knows how to host a dinner:
The US President’s last White House Correspondents’ Dinner might was defined by dropping the mic and casually declaring: “Obama out.” But there were jibes and hits to remember; most of all, it was Obama’s masterstroke was inviting comedian Keegan-Michael Key as his anger translator.
We’d let the video do the talking:
A hip-hop President:
Obama embraced hip-hop more than any of his predecessors. He has referenced Jay Z’s lyrics and Kanye West in speeches, released playlists on Spotify that included Nas, Chance the Rapper, Mos Def and Method Man, and was caught dancing to Drake’s “Hot Line Bling” at a White House event.
And televised concert celebrating the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Obama was shown rapping along when Public Enemy’s Chuck D performed ‘Fight the Power’.
But it isn’t just hip hop he’s known for. Jazz and Christmas songs feature in his list too.
Shedding a tear:
Who says presidents don’t cry. One of the most powerful leaders in the world has wept at least 10 times on camera since he took office, most tellingly when tears poured down his cheeks last year when he talked about the toll that gun violence was taking on America. Obama wiped away another few earlier this month when paying tribute to his wife Michelle and his teenage daughters in his farewell speech in Chicago.
Hanging out the kids:
Obama’s most endearing moments captures are with the kids, whether it’s playfully coaxing a British Prince into shaking his hand or being shot by spiderman in the White House.
Going out on a bang:
His parting gift was a presidential clemency for Chelsea Manning, the US intelligence officer who was convicted of leaking sensitive information to WikiLeaks. Thanks to Obama, Manning will walk out of prison in May this year.
With the Republican side often denying the existence of man-made global warming, Obama also ensured the survival of his legacy by transferring $500 million to the Paris climate change fund.
Here’s hoping Trump has another tremendous presidency.
(With input from agencies)