Outgoing U.S President Barack Obama on Tuesday night in Chicago momentarily batted back tears as he thanked his wife, Michelle Obama, during the emotional tail-end of his farewell address.
The president drew one of the biggest roars of the night for his extended tribute to the first lady, in the same city where Michelle Obama was born, raised and met her husband.
“Michelle LeVaughn Robinson, girl of the South Side,” said an emotional Obama, “for the past 25 years, you’ve been not only my wife and mother of my children, you have been my best friend. You took on a role you didn’t ask for and you made it your own with grace and grit and style, and good humor. 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.”
One of the appreciative audience members was Malia Obama, who was seated next to her mother and was wiping away tears as her father spoke.
Obama talking about Michelle in his farewell speech ❤😭 pic.twitter.com/Qh4tdD7S1I
— FREDDY (@FreddyAmazin) January 11, 2017
“You made the White House a place that belongs to everybody.”
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) January 11, 2017
The president then turned his attention to his daughters.
He continued: “Malia and Sasha, under the strangest of circumstances, you have become two amazing young women, you are smart and beautiful, but more importantly, kind and thoughtful and full of passion. You wore the burden of years in the spotlight so easily. Of all that I’ve done in my life, I’m most proud to be your dad.”
Obama at one point took out a white handkerchief to wipe his eyes, while Malia, his eldest daughter, also was seen wiping away tears.
The outgoing president also gave a shout-out to his vice president, Joe Biden, calling him “a brother.”
“To Joe Biden,” said the president, wiping at a tear on his right eye, “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 lives.”
The President’s speech centered on the threats to democracy but also his fundamental belief in the system, asking his supporters to still trust that change and progress are possible.