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Obama Previews Farewell Address to Be Delivered Jan. 10 in Chicago

The sitting president offered encouragement to his fellow Americans, who he said have hit obstacles since he took office

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    NEWSLETTERS

    President Barack Obama and the first lady shared a bittersweet goodbye — and a few laughs — in their final Christmas video message to the country released Saturday. (Published Sunday, Dec. 25, 2016)

    As his time in the Oval Office comes to an end, President Barack Obama on Monday gave the country a preview of the farewell address he will deliver in Chicago on Jan. 10, a mere 10 days before President-elect Donald Trump is to be sworn in.

    Obama, in a written statement, explained that the American people have helped him lead during his presidency, a theme he plans to highlight in his speech.

    "I'm thinking about [my remarks] as a chance to say thank you for this amazing journey, to celebrate the ways you've changed this country for the better these past eight years, and to offer some thought on where we all go from here," he wrote.

    The sitting president offered encouragement to his fellow Americans, who he said have hit obstacles since he took office.

    "Since 2009, we've faced our fair share of challenges, and come through them stronger," he said. "That's because we have never let go of a belief that has guided us ever since our founding — our conviction that, together, we can change this country for the better."

    The U.S. president's farewell address, Obama noted, is a tradition that dates back to 1796, when George Washington said goodbye to Americans before transferring power to his successor, John Adams.

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    Read his full email below:

    Email from the President: “My Farewell Address”

     

    In 1796, as George Washington set the precedent for a peaceful, democratic transfer of power, he also set a precedent by penning a farewell address to the American people. And over the 220 years since, many American presidents have followed his lead.
     
    On Tuesday, January 10, I'll go home to Chicago to say my grateful farewell to you, even if you can't be there in person. 
     
    I'm just beginning to write my remarks. But I'm thinking about them as a chance to say thank you for this amazing journey, to celebrate the ways you've changed this country for the better these past eight years, and to offer some thoughts on where we all go from here.
     
    Since 2009, we've faced our fair share of challenges, and come through them stronger. That's because we have never let go of a belief that has guided us ever since our founding -- our conviction that, together, we can change this country for the better.
     
    So I hope you'll join me one last time. 
     
    Because, for me, it's always been about you.

    Getty Images/Panoramic Images

    In 1796, as George Washington set the precedent for a peaceful, democratic transfer of power, he also set a precedent by penning a farewell address to the American people. And over the 220 years since, many American presidents have followed his lead. 

    On Tuesday, January 10, I'll go home to Chicago to say my grateful farewell to you, even if you can't be there in person.  

    I'm just beginning to write my remarks. But I'm thinking about them as a chance to say thank you for this amazing journey, to celebrate the ways you've changed this country for the better these past eight years, and to offer some thoughts on where we all go from here. 

    Since 2009, we've faced our fair share of challenges, and come through them stronger. That's because we have never let go of a belief that has guided us ever since our founding -- our conviction that, together, we can change this country for the better. 

    So I hope you'll join me one last time.  

    Because, for me, it's always been about you.

    -President Barack Obama