As you’re undoubtedly aware of by now, Thursday is President Obama’s last full day in office, and he’s putting a bow on the occasion with a reassuring letter for those who are sad to see him go. The lengthy note concludes the long goodbye from the past few weeks, which included a resounding farewell address that ended up drowning in Trump’s alleged “Golden Showers.”
In addition to a number of other “lasts,” Obama also delivered a final press conference where he tied up loose ends and defended his Chelsea Manning commutation. As for this traditional farewell letter, Obama took things to Facebook, as one does in the digital age. Will Trump tweet-storm his letter in the future? We’ll find out someday, but for now, Obama ends his eight years of service for thanking America for what it’s done for him:
I wanted to say one final thank you for the honor of serving as your 44th. Because all that I’ve learned in my time in office, I’ve learned from you. You made me a better President, and you made me a better man.
Throughout these eight years, you have been the source of goodness, resilience, and hope from which I’ve pulled strength. I’ve seen neighbors and communities take care of each other during the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes. I have mourned with grieving families searching for answers — and found grace in a Charleston church.
I’ve taken heart from the hope of young graduates and our newest military officers. I’ve seen our scientists help a paralyzed man regain his sense of touch, and wounded warriors once given up for dead walk again. I’ve seen Americans whose lives have been saved because they finally have access to medical care, and families whose lives have been changed because their marriages are recognized as equal to our own. I’ve seen the youngest of children remind us through their actions and through their generosity of our obligations to care for refugees, or work for peace, and, above all, to look out for each other.
There’s more, of course, and Obama finishes by telling his party members — and the nation as a whole — to keep pushing for progress. He’s eager to find out what the future holds and even offers up a way to “keep in touch” (through the Barack Obama Foundation). Still, Obama promises to be “with you every step of the way,” and he sends a not-so-subtle message to his successor: “The single most powerful word in our democracy is the word ‘We.’ ‘We the People.’ ‘We shall overcome.'”
For her part, FLOTUS Michelle Obama tweeted a photo and video of her final moments in the White House.
Taking it in on one last walk through the People’s House. pic.twitter.com/uaAn6j8Ygy
— The First Lady (@FLOTUS) January 18, 2017
You can read Obama’s full farewell letter below.