Just over eight years ago, on November 4, 2008, Barack Obama took the stage in his hometown of Chicago on the occasion of a triumph: he had been elected by the American people as the 44th president of the United States, and the first African-American to take the nation’s highest office.
On Tuesday night, he returned to the stage in his hometown, this time to say goodbye. In ten days, he will leave the White House; Donald Trump will take his spot. But despite the cynicism from some about this prospect, Obama’s remarks on Tuesday — his final address to the nation — was, once again, one of hope. He spoke of the myriad accomplishments of his two-term presidency: the achievement of marriage equality, consistent job growth, the expansion of healthcare, and the normalization of relations with Cuba, to name a few. He also urged his fellow citizens to uphold American values. “Our democracy is threatened when any of us take it for granted,” he said.
The full transcript of his speech is below.