January 11, 2017

`Yes, we can. Yes, we did’: Obama bids farewell as POTUS; Filipinos react

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  • Thank-you’s were given, achievements were cited, and a final call was made to all Americans as outgoing U.S. President Barack Obama gave his Farewell Address at McCormick Place in his hometown of Chicago, IL.

    photo

    A ROCKSTAR OF SORTS. To most people, POTUS Barack Obama was a good POTUS, especially when it came to public speaking. He could crack jokes and play to the crowd yet still remain on topic. Image grabbed from The White House Facebook page

    In his speech, he spoke about the achievements his administration has made over the past 8 years: getting the United States out of the Great Recession, taking the fight to terrorists, forging ties with other nations, improving health insurance for U.S. citizens, and maintained the U.S. statute as the “greatest nation in the world”.

    He spoke of the ills he faced during his term (ISIL, racism, political divisions) and how it should be overcome. He also spoke of a “peaceful transfer of power from one freely elected president to the next”, a hallmark from past presidential farewell addresses.

    He thanked all the people who helped him during his eight-year stint in the White House: Vice President Joe Biden (who he called a brother), his White House staff, and his family, especially U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama.

    He ended his speech by calling on all Americans “to believe. Not in my ability to bring about change – but in yours,” and “a creed at the core of every American whose story is not yet written: Yes, we can. Yes, we did. Yes, we can.”

    Reactions

    The crowd at McCormick Place where elated to see Obama one last time, cheering his efforts as the President of the United States (POTUS). There were people who were sad to see him go (at some point, people at McCormick Place were cheering “Four more years!”) yet thanked him for his service to the U.S.:

    positive

    Most of the comments on the The White House were positive, thanking Obama for a job well done. They also described him as “classy” and “one of the best presidents we ever had.”

    There were also people that were all too happy to see him go:

    negative

    America has improved its stand on racism, though there were a few people who referred to Obama’s 8-year term as “a failed social experiment”.

    Filipinos here and abroad were mostly silent, though a local online news site did stream the event live on their Facebook page, it was mostly unnoticed by the general public.

     

    Full text of the Farewell Address can be seen on npr.org, The New York Times, and Philstar.com.

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