Farewell, Obama

Laura Creighton - Deputy Politics Editor

Tens of thousands of people have paid tribute to Barack Obama’s tenure as president of the United States following his final speech in the capacity on Tuesday.

In an emotional farewell speech delivered in Chicago, Illinois, the place where Obama’s political career first started in 1996, he thanked his wife Michelle Obama and his Vice President Joe Biden, whom he referred to as a brother.

Obama used the speech to reiterate the importance of democracy, and the concept of the American dream, as well as inspiring ordinary people to create change.

He also chastised the low voting rates seen in the country in comparison to other developed and advanced democracies and called for reform to make it easier to vote in elections.

He called for more political action from each and every citizen, to get more involved in shaping their own democracy, and holding those in power to account.

The departing president was subject to chants of “Four more years!” from the Chicago crowd, despite having completed the maximum allocated two, four year terms a United States president can serve.

Outpourings have been seen on twitter over the couple of days following the speech, with people from all over the world thanking him for his service, sharing their favourite pictures of him, and immortalising his last eight years as best they can in 140 characters.

Some have used the social network to draw attention to the side of Obama not often heralded, criticizing his foreign policy over the past eight years, and looking forward to his successor replacing him in the coming days.

Obama used his farewell speech to promise the smoothest transition possible to Donald Trump and his team over the next nine days.

President elect Donald Trump will be sworn in on Friday January 20, and will move into the white house to begin his first term as president.

A number of celebrities have reportedly declined invitations to perform at the inauguration, including Rebecca Ferguson, Charlotte Church and Elton John.

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