Barack Obama Delivers Final Farewell After Inauguration: ‘It Has Always Been About You’

Adieu, adieu. Barack Obama delivered his final farewell speech following the presidential inauguration on Friday, January 20, telling the gathered crowd at Joint Base Andrews in Prince George’s County, Maryland, that “it has always been about you.”

“Michelle and I, we’ve really been milking this good-bye thing,” he kicked off his speech with a wide smile. “So it behooves me to be very brief.” His remarks came after the former president, 55, delivered an emotional farewell address from his hometown of Chicago on Tuesday, January 10. Michelle, 53, gave her last full speech as first lady on Friday, January 6.

“Throughout this process, Michelle and I, we’ve just been your frontmen and women,” he continued. “We’ve just been your face and voice. But this has not been about us. It has always been about you. And all the amazing things that have happened in the last ten years have all just been about you.”

U.S. President Barack Obama arrives on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC.
U.S. President Barack Obama arrives on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 20, 2017, in Washington, D.C. Win McNamee/Getty Images

The outgoing president also reassured the public that he will not be a silent bystander in this new chapter of his life. “This isn’t a period, it’s a comma, in the continuing story that is America,” he said. “This has been the privilege of my life, and I know I speak for Michelle as well … and I can’t wait to see what you do next, and I promise I’ll be right there with you. Yes we did. Yes we can.”

Earlier in the day, the Obamas exchanged air kisses and handshakes with Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump, then boarded a helicopter to travel to Joint Base Andrews in Prince George’s County, Maryland, waving goodbye to spectators before taking their seats inside.

Barack, Michelle and their teen daughters, Malia and Sasha, are now headed to Palm Springs, California, where they will take a well-deserved vacation. “I can tell you that the first family is looking forward to flying to Palm Springs, California, on Friday,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said at a news conference Tuesday, January 17. “The president vowed to take his family to a destination that is warmer than Washington, and Palm Springs fits the bill. He and his family have enjoyed the time they spent there in the past, and they’re looking forward to traveling there on Friday.”

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