President Barack Obama said today he will deliver his farewell address on January 10 in Chicago, his adopted hometown and where his victory speech eight years ago in Grant Park drew more than 200,000 people. Next week’s speech will be at McCormick Place, and it will be an evening event — meaning the major broadcast networks will certainly break into primetime programming to cover the remarks. Usually, such POTUS speeches go off around 9 PM ET.
Invites have been going out the past week to Obama political friends, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. The White House made some details official today.
“I’m just beginning to write my remarks,” Obama said in his note to supporters today (read it in full below). “But I’m thinking about them as a chance to say thank you for this amazing journey, to celebrate the ways you’ve changed this country for the better these past eight years, and to offer some thoughts on where we all go from here.”
GOP President-elect Donald Trump will be sworn into office January 20. He and Obama have had a precedent-setting transitional period since Trump was elected, with Obama working to stake his claim that he made America better during his two terms, and Trump and his team vowing to undo many of the Obama administration’s work.
Here Obama’s full message today:
In 1796, as George Washington set the precedent for a peaceful, democratic transfer of power, he also set a precedent by penning a farewell address to the American people. And over the 220 years since, many American presidents have followed his lead.
On Tuesday, January 10, I’ll go home to Chicago to say my grateful farewell to you, even if you can’t be there in person.
I’m just beginning to write my remarks. But I’m thinking about them as a chance to say thank you for this amazing journey, to celebrate the ways you’ve changed this country for the better these past eight years, and to offer some thoughts on where we all go from here.
Since 2009, we’ve faced our fair share of challenges, and come through them stronger. That’s because we have never let go of a belief that has guided us ever since our founding — our conviction that, together, we can change this country for the better.
So I hope you’ll join me one last time.
Because, for me, it’s always been about you.