Well everybody, the end has come. On January 10, 2017, President Barack Obama, elected in 2008 as the first African American President of the United States, delivered his farewell speech in Chicago.
In honor of the end of an era, let us reminisce the top 10 moments (in no particular order) of his historic presidency.
- Amazing Grace
On June 15, 2015, 21 year old Dylan Roof, attended bible study at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church (one of the oldest black churches in the South). At some point during the bible study, Roof opened fire on the 12 people in the church, in the hopes of starting a race war. He shot and killed 9 innocent people, Cynthia Marie Graham Hurd (54), Susie Jackson (87), Ethel Lee Lance (70), Depayne Middleton-Doctor (49), Clementa C. Pinckney (41), Tywanza Sanders (26), Daniel Simmons (74), Sharonda Coleman-Singleton (45), and Myra Thompson (59).
In the aftermath of the shooting, the nation mourned these senseless killings. President Barack Obama delivered the eulogy of the fallen pastor Clementa C. Pinckney. The entire eulogy was a truly remarkable historic event, but near the end, the president, at a loss for words, began to sing “Amazing Grace”. It was a moment that only he, our first black president, could deliver, a moment that will forever define his presidency.
2. “Folks Wanna Pop Off”
While President Obama is known for his moving and thought provoking speeches at times of great tragedy or turmoil, you could also count on him for a great one-liner.
At the 2015 G20 summit, President Obama reminded us all why we love him so much! While discussing the public’s plentiful opinion on his job as president, he says: “If folks wanna pop off and have opinions about what they think they would do…we can have that discussion.” Eat your heart out haters! I think we can all agree he picked up that one from Sasha or Malia.
3. The Tan Suit
August 28, 2014, a day which will live in infamy. President Obama held a press conference on Foreign Policy, but all anyone could talk about was his stylish Tan suit. Of course, as with anything thing President Obama does, he was met with his fare share of haters, but I’m definitely feelin’ the look.
4. He Won All Of His Campaigns
2015 was a great year for President Obama, and he kicked it off with the State of The Union. During his speech, while talking his vision for his final years in office, he mentioned that he didn’t have anymore campaigns to run. Of course someone in the room took the opportunity to celebrate that fact, but in true Obama form, he had a quick and witty comeback, “I know, cause I won all of them”. Well played, Mr. President, well played.
5. The Presidential Parties and State Dinners
The Obama’s know how to throw a party. Whether they are hosting the Canadian Prime Minister, or Beyonce, you can always expect beautiful gowns, great musical performances, and a guest list that will give you a serious case of FOMO (fear of missing out).
6. Health Care Reform
Democrat or Republican, we can all agree that that everyone deserves affordable quality healthcare. On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) into law. In the nearly 7 years since the law has been enacted, over 20 million more Americans now have health insurance. President Obama sees this as one of his biggest accomplishments in office.
Just this past week, Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan held a Town Hall Forum. During the event, a cancer patient and life long republican spoke about how “Obamacare” saved his life. Hopefully, we will continue to hear such amazing stories.
7. “If I Had A Son, He Would Look Like Trayvon”
On February 26, 2012, unarmed 17-year old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida. In the aftermath of the shooting and the trial, in which Zimmerman was found not guilty, along with several other high profile killing of unarmed black man, the “Black Lives Matter” movement was formed.
Following the shooting, President Obama delivered remarks, offering condolences to the Martin family, and he leaving us with one of his most memorable quotes “If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon”.
8. “Does Your Hair Feel Like Mine?”
Head White House Photographer, Pete Souza, has captured some amazing moments during the Obama presidency, especially when it come to President Obama interacting with kids. The image of President Obama leaning over as 5-year old Jacob Philadelphia touches his hair to see “if it feels like his” is so powerful, it shows just how important representation is.
9. Obama Out
Each year, The White House Correspondents Associations hold the White House Correspondents Dinner. The dinner is known as a night of comedy as politicians and journalist deliver funny good hearted jokes making fun of each other and theirselves.
At President Obama’s final White House Correspondents’ Dinner, he ended his successful Presidency with a warm and funny kiss to the nation and mic drop while saying “Obama out”.
10. Farewell Speech
As much as I hate to cite the last of his great speeches as a shining moment for the POTUS, I must give credit where it is due, regardless of how much I will cry over my ice cream whilst watching this on repeat *queue violins*.
President Obama used the speech as an opportunity to reflect on the past 8 years and to thank the American people for our support. But the highlight of his final speech was watching him (while shedding a few tears) deliver a moving tribute to his amazing, beautiful, talented wife, First Lady Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama. #Relationshipgoals
No words can describe what a pleasure it has been to watch this historic presidency, and while I hope to see more people of color in the white house, there will never be another President Barack Hussein Obama. #ObamaOut #ThanksObama