Yes we did. Yes we can. Change happens when ordinary people get involved: Prez Obama’s farewell speech

Washington DC: US President Barack Obama on Wednesday gave his farewell speech to the nation, saying America is now “a better, stronger place” than it was, as he pledged a smooth transition of power to his successor President-elect Donald Trump.

 Obama farewell speech

Echoing his campaign slogan from 2008, Obama said, “Yes, we did. Yes, we can.” Obama asked Americans to believe in their ability to bring change, saying, “I do have one final ask of you as your President… same thing I asked when you took a chance on me 8 years ago. I am asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about change, but in yours.”

“All of us, regardless of party, should throw ourselves into the task of rebuilding our democratic institutions. America is no fragile thing. But the gains of our long journey to freedom are not assured. Our democracy is threatened whenever we take it for granted,” President said in his speech at the McCormick Place, the city’s main convention center.

Speaking about the growing threat of terrorism, Obama said that the global coalition against ISIS has taken out their leaders, and taken away half their territory. “ISIS will be destroyed, no one who threatens America will ever be safe,” he added.

President Obama also said that rivals like Russia and China could not match US influence around the world unless the American Constitution is betrayed and becomes just another big country that bullies other smaller countries in the world.

Asserting that racism was still a “divisive force”, he said, “I have lived long enough to know that race relations are better than they were 10, or 20, or 30 years ago, no matter what folks say. Going forward, we must uphold laws against discrimination – in hiring, in housing, in education and the criminal justice system.”

Towards the end, Obama also spoke about US First Lady Michelle and daughters Malia and Sasha saying, “Michelle, for the past 25 years, you have been not only my wife and mother of my children, but my best friend.”

“Of all that I have done in my life, I am most proud to be your (Malia and Sasha) dad,” he said.

Obama plans to remain in Washington for the next two years while his younger daughter, Sasha, finishes high school.

Watch his full address:

08:26 AM

‘Yes We Did. Yes We Can. Thank you’

 

08:21 AM

“To Joe Biden, the scrappy kid from Scranton who became Delaware’s favorite son: you were the first decision I made as a nominee & the best”

 

 

08:21 AM

Obama to Americans

# “I do have one final ask of you as your President, same thing I asked when you took a chance on me 8-years ago. I am asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about change, but in yours.”

# “You are the best supporters and organisers anyone could hope for. You know that constant change has been America’s hallmark, something not to fear but to embrace.”

# “My fellow Americans, it has been the honour of my life to serve you.”

 

08:16 AM

Obama on Michelle , Malia and Sasha

# “Michelle, for the past 25 years, you have been not only my wife and mother of my children, but my best friend.”

# “Malia and Sasha – you have become two amazing young women, smart and beautiful, but more importantly, kind and thoughtful. Of all that I have done in my life, I am most proud to be your dad.”

(Image courtesy: White House)

 

08:12 AM

Obama on role of Citizen

# “Our democracy is threatened whenever we take it for granted.”

# “All of us, regardless of party, should throw ourselves into the task of rebuilding our democratic institutions.”

# “America is no fragile thing. But the gains of our long journey to freedom are not assured.”

# “For all our outward differences, we, in fact, all share the same proud title…citizen.”

# “If you’re tired of arguing with strangers on the internet, try to talk with one in real life.”

 

08:09 AM

Obama on Russia and China

# “Rivals like Russia and China cannot match our influence around the world unless we betray our Constitution and become just another big country that bullies other smaller countries in the world.”

# “Our democracy is threatened whenever we take it for granted.”

 

08:08 AM

Obama on race and discrimination

# “America is a better, stronger place than it was when we started.”

# “Race remains a potent and often divisive force in our society.”

# “I have lived long enough to know that race relations are better than they were 10, or 20, or 30 years ago, no matter what folks say.”

# “If we are unwilling to invest in the children of immigrants…we diminish the prospects of our own children.”

# “Going forward, we must uphold laws against discrimination – in hiring, in housing, in education and the criminal justice system.”

# “We all have to try harder to start with the premise that each of our fellow citizens loves this country just as much as we do.”

 

08:03 AM

Obama on terrorism and threats

# “The bubbles and rise of naked partisanship is a threat to our democracy.”

# “We have taken out tens of thousands of terrorists, including Osama bin Laden.”

# “No foreign terrorist organisation has successfully planned and executed an attack on our homeland these past eight years.”

# “Although Boston and Orlando remind us of how dangerous radicalisation can be, our law enforcement agencies are more effective than ever.”

# “The global coalition we are leading against ISIS has taken out their leaders, and taken away about half their territory. ISIS will be destroyed, no one who threatens America will ever be safe.”

# “I reject discrimination against Muslim Americans.”

 

07:54 AM

In the past eight years we’ve:
Cut dependence on foreign oil ✓
Doubled renewable energy ✓
Signed the  ✓ 

 

 

07:52 AM

# Obama pledges smooth transition of power to his successor: “In 10 days, our country will witness hallmark of democracy, peaceful transition from one freely elected president to another.”

 

07:37 AM

President Obama addresses America

# “Michelle and I have been touched by all the well wishes we have received. Tonight it’s my turn to say thanks.”

# “I can’t do that,” says US President Barack Obama as crowd shouts “one more year.”

# “Every day, I have learned from you. You made me a better President, and you made me a better man.”

# “I learned that change only happens when ordinary people get involved, get engaged, and come together to demand it.”

Obama on Democracy

# “It’s the insistence that…We, the People, through the instrument of our democracy, can form a more perfect union.”

# “A great gift our Founders gave us. The freedom to chase our individual dreams through our sweat, toil, and imagination.”

# “For 240 years, our nation’s call to citizenship has given work and purpose to each new generation.”

# “Our progress has been uneven. The work of democracy has always been hard…contentious and sometimes bloody.”

Obama on Economy and Jobs

# “Longest stretch of job creation in history, auto industry is back, 20 million more with health care: That’s what we did.”

# “You answered people’s hopes, and because of you…America is a better, stronger place than it was when we started.”

# “It’s up to all of us to make sure our government can help us meet the many challenges we still face.”

# “Our youth and drive, our diversity and openness, our boundless capacity for risk and reinvention mean that the future should be ours.”

# “Our democracy won’t work without a sense that everyone has economic opportunity.: