Speaking to an audience in Chicago, the president echoed his initial campaign slogan, emphasizing everyday Americans’ role in shaping his presidency.
“You were the change. You answered people’s hopes, and because of you, by almost every measure, America is a better, stronger place than it was when we started,” Obama said.
He ended his speech with a similar campaign echo: “Yes we can. Yes we did. Yes we can.”
In an emotional address — he appeared to tear up while thanking his wife and family — the president touted the results of his tenure, noting the lower unemployment rate and millions of new recipients of health insurance covered under the Affordable Care Act, among other achievements.
But Obama warned of the foreign and domestic threats to American democracy, raising the threats of terrorism, economic inequality, and climate change.
“A shrinking world, growing inequality, demographic change and the specter of terrorism — these forces haven’t just tested our security and prosperity, but our democracy as well. And how we meet these challenges to our democracy will determine our ability to educate our kids, and create good jobs, and protect our homeland,” Obama said.