Reporter: Fallon Gallagher
CHICAGO – President Barack Obama returned to Chicago Tuesday night to deliver his farewell address. He emphasized the importance of unity and civic engagement, especially during the transition.
The president broke tradition by coming home to deliver his address from the McCormick Place Convention Center. The roaring crowd – many of whom had supported the president since the beginning – was enthused by his homecoming.
“It was on these streets where I witnessed the power of faith and the quiet dignity of working people in the face of struggle and loss,” the president said.
Marca Bristo, an original supporter, said she felt proud President Obama delivered the address in Chicago and couldn’t imagine it happening anywhere else.
That enthusiasm remained throughout and after the speech as well. The crowd enthusiastically greeted the president with the chant, “four more years!”
This legacy speech that cited victories such as the Affordable Care Act and marriage equality also called the public to action.
“We didn’t write it with an eye to legacy, we wrote it with an eye to the future,” President Obama’s Director of Speechwriting Cody Keenan (Weinberg ’02) said.
The president encouraged citizens to become guardians of democracy, urging them to take action for the changes they would like to see in this society.
Nine years ago he campaigned on a platform of change. At the end of his second term, President Obama told the people it’s their turn to be the change, telling them yes you can.
For more on the president’s final address, tune in to the Northwestern News Report Tuesday.