Chicago – President Barack Obama gave his final speech to a crowd of over 18,000 inside Chicago’s McCormick Place, Tuesday night. While some critized Obama for choosing Chicago instead of Washington DC for his historical speech, but remember it was in Chicago’s Grant Park the same place in 2008 he delivered his victory speech after becoming the nation’s first black president.
Obama continued a tradition set in 1796 when George Washington addressed the American people for the last time as president. It will be followed by a “family reunion” for alumni of Obama’s former campaigns, according to a save-the-date sent to alumni.
Obama has described the event as “a chance to say thank you for this amazing journey,” to celebrate the ways the country has changed and “to offer some thoughts on where we all go from here,” and to highlight his successes over his two terms including reversing recessions, healthcare reform, the Iran Nuclear Deal and wiping out Osama Bin Laden.
“By every measure, America is a better, stronger place than when we started,” Obama said.
President Obama thanked First Lady Michelle Obama, his daughters Sasha and Malia, Vice President Joe Biden, and all the organizers and volunteers who worked on his campaigns over the years.
“Michelle – for the past twenty-five years, you’ve been not only my wife and mother of my children, but my best friend…You made the White House a place that belongs to everybody. And a new generation sets its sights higher because it has you as a role model. You’ve made me proud. You’ve made the country proud.”
“To Joe Biden, the scrappy kid from Scranton who became Delaware’s favorite son: you were the first choice I made as a nominee, and the best. Not just because you have been a great Vice President, but because in the bargain, I gained a brother. We love you and Jill like family, and your friendship has been one of the great joys of our life.”
Many supporters started lining up early Tuesday morning to make sure they got a good spot inside the Lakeside Center at McCormick Place.
AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief of Black Westchester and Co-Owner of Urban Soul Media Group, the parent company, Host & Producer of the People Before Politics Radio Show. AJ is a Father, Brother, An Author, Journalism Fellow (Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism), Hip-Hop Artist - one third of the legendary underground rap group JVC FORCE known for the single Strong Island, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian, Documentarian, Activist, Criminal Justice Advocate and Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale, Sonicnet.com, Launch.com, Rolling Out Newspaper, Daily Challenge Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine, Word Up! Magazine, On The Go Magazine and several others.