Speed Reads

obama farewell address

Obama pays tribute to the first lady: 'You made the White House a place that belongs to everybody'

President Obama saved the best for last in his farewell address Tuesday night in Chicago.

Speaking directly to his "best friend," first lady Michelle Obama, an emotional Obama said his wife took on a role she didn't ask for, making it her own. "With grace and with grit and with style and with 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 have made me proud and you have made the country proud." To his daughters, Malia and Sasha, Obama gushed that they have become two "amazing young women," having grown up under "the strangest of circumstance." They are "smart and beautiful," the president said, but more importantly, "kind and thoughtful and full of passion." They both "wore the burden of years in the spotlight so easily," he added. "Of all that I have done in my life, I am most proud to be your dad."

Next, Obama turned his attention to Vice President Joe Biden, "the scrappy kid from Scranton." Biden was "the first decision I made as a nominee, and it was the best," he said. "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 life." Obama also heaped thanks upon the organizers and volunteers who have campaigned for him ("you changed the world") and his staff. "The only thing that makes me prouder than all the good we've done," he said, "is the thought of all the remarkable things you'll achieve from here."

It wasn't a one-sided affair — after his speech was over, the first lady shared with the president a special message of her own. Catherine Garcia