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US President Obama’s parting words: It’s been an honour to serve you, I won’t stop

US President Barack Obama says in his farewell address that in 10 days the world will witness the peaceful transfer of power to a new president, drawing some jeers ahead of Donald Trump’s presidency.

world Updated: Jan 11, 2017 09:37 IST
Barack Obama,US President,US
US President Barack Obama speaks during his farewell address in Chicago, Illinois.(AFP Photo)

US President Barack Obama says in his farewell address that in 10 days the world will witness the peaceful transfer of power to a new president, drawing some jeers ahead of Donald Trump’s presidency.

Obama says he committed to Trump that his administration would “ensure the smoothest possible transition” just as his predecessor, President George W. Bush, did for him.

The outgoing President says in Chicago “it’s up to all of us to make sure our government can help us meet the many challenges we still face”.

Read | From POTUS to ‘President of Playlists’: Barack Obama gets a job offer

Here are the live updates: 

Obama out: “Yes, we can. Yes we did. Yes we can. May God continue to bless United States of America.”

President Barack Obama wipes his tears as he speaks at McCormick Place in Chicago. ( AP Photo )

• In the closing stages, Obama hails the new generation, saying, “I leave this stage tonight even more optimistic than when we started.”

“You are willing to carry this democracy forward... I believe the future is in good hands.”

“It has been an honour of my life to serve you. I won’t stop, I will be there as a citizen.”

I have my final ask of you as a President. It’s the same that I asked of you when I started. I’m asking you to believe not in my ability to make change, but in yours.”

Click here to read the full text of Obama’s farewell speech

• Obama turns to his wife and First Lady, thanking her for her support. “Michelle, you took on a role you didn’t ask for and you made it your own, with your grace, your style and your humour... You have made me proud and you have made the country proud.”

To his daughters Malia and Sasha, Obama says: You bore the burden of years of spotlight. Of all that I have done in my life, I’m most proud to be your Dad.

To US vice-president, Joe Biden -- “the scrappy kid from Scranton who became Delaware’s favourite son, you were the first choice I made as a nominee, and the best”.

US vice-president Joe Biden, his wife Jill Biden, First Lady Michelle Obama and her daughter Malia Obama stand for the national anthem before President Barack Obama delivers his farewell address in Chicago. ( Reuters Photo )

• Upping the ante against traditional US rivals, Obama criticises “bullies” China and Russia. Rivals like Russia and China cannot match our influence across the world unless we give up what we stand for, says POTUS.

• Obama honours the citizen and hails the inclusiveness of democracy. “Our democracy is threatened whenever we take it for granted... For all our outward differences, we all share the same proud title, the most important office in democracy: Citizen.”

Watch | Obama’s last speech as US President

• On terrorism and radicalisation, Obama claims US’ law and enforcement agencies are stronger.

“The global coalition we’re leading against ISIL has taken out their leaders, and taken away about half their territory. ISIL (Islamic State) will be destroyed.”

• I reject discrimination against Muslim Americans: Obama on being true to America’s values and hyper nationalisation.

“To all who serve, it has been the honour of my lifetime to be your commander-in-chief.”

Read | Obama’s misses, and their consequences, will be with us for a long time

• The speech moves on to climate change, an issue closely followed by the Obama administration.

“Without bolder action, our children won’t have time to debate...climate change; they’ll be busy dealing with its effects... To simply deny the problem (climate change), it not only denies the future generations, but it betrays the simple innovation that guided our fathers. ”

• When minorities protest, they’re not demanding special treatment but equal treatment that our forefathers promised: POTUS

• Obama — who is 55 years old — says in his farewell address that he’s lived long enough to know that race relations are better than they were 30 years ago. But he says he also knows “we’re not where we need to be.”

He says every economic issue can’t be framed as a struggle between hardworking middle-class whites and undeserving minorities, and says forsaking the children of immigrants will diminish the prospects of American children.

• He dives right into the contentious healthcare issue, saying: “If anyone can make a better healthcare system, I will support it.” President-elect Donald Trump had in his presidential campaign promised to scrap Obamacare.

• After reiterating his efforts to ensure a smooth transition for the incoming Trump administration, Obama says everyone is in this together.

• Obama lists out US’ achievements in the last 8 years. At the time of his exit, Obama has a 55% approval rating.

“Yup that’s what we did... America is a better, stronger place than we started.”

• As the crowd chants, “4 more years! 4 more years!”, Obama says: “I can’t do that.”

• We the people, through the instrument of our democracy, can form a more perfect union, Obama says at the Chicago convention centre.

“Yes our progress has been unequal. The work of democracy has been hard... but the long sweep of America has been defined by forward motion.”

• In his usual style, Obama calls himself a ‘lame duck’ because nobody listens to him after the crowd didn’t stop cheering.

• US President Barack Obama arrives on the stage for his farewell speech.

“Hello Chicago, It’s good to be home” are Obama’s opening words to a cheering crowd.  

• Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder performs at the McCormick Place convention centre in Chicago, ahead of Obama’s farewell address.

Eddie Vedder with the Chicago Children’s Choir entertain guests before President Barack Obama’s speech. ( AFP Photo )

• US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama walk off Air Force One in Chicago.

First Published: Jan 11, 2017 07:23 IST