*Tuesday night (01-10-17) President Barack Obama called on Americans to come together in the face of what he characterized as “challenges to our democracy” in a sweeping farewell speech. It was seen as more of a call to action for the nation’s future than a recollection of past successes.
In Chicago, the out going president spoke to a hometown audience estimated at nearly 20,000 people. Mr. Obama struggled to quiet a roaring crowd as he opened the speech by recounting how his political path began in the former “Second City.”
“This is where I learned that change only happens when ordinary people get involved, get engaged, and come together to demand it,” Obama said.
“After eight years as your President, I still believe that,” he went on. “And it’s not just my belief. It’s the beating heart of our American idea — our bold experiment in self-government.”
For more, WATCH the president’s FULL address via the YouTube player above.
Earlier we reported …
*Tonight, President Barack Obama is returning home to Chicago to give what is expected to be a landmark farewell address as his presidency ends.
The speech is slated to start at 8 p.m. Central Time (9 p.m. Eastern, 6 p.m. Pacific) from McCormick Place, the Near South Side convention center where Obama held his second term election-night victory rally.
Advisors have said the president’s speech will be forward-looking—so don’t expect a big re-hashing of his legacy or a a victorious reliving of Grant Park 2008. But the speech will also draw from Obama’s personal history as a Chicago community organizer and state senator, with a message urging perseverance in the face of setbacks, according to his speechwriter.