President Barack Obama released a goodbye letter to the country on Thursday, just one day before he hands over the White House to Donald Trump.
Here’s Obama’s letter:
“You made me a better President, and you made me a better man.”: President Obama pens a final goodbye letter to his fellow Americans pic.twitter.com/5buRNzCtfG— CNN (@CNN) January 19, 2017
Obama is about to be replaced by someone who questioned the authenticity of his birth certificate, who called him “the most ignorant president in our history,” a “disaster” and even the “founder of ISIS.” On the campaign trail, Obama called Trump “woefully unprepared” and doubted he’d be able to “handle the nuclear codes.”
But as he has consistently since the election, Obama set aside those concerns for his final communication as president, instead emphasizing optimism for America.
“You made me a better President, and you made me a better man. Throughout these eight years, you have been the source of goodness, resilience, and hope from which I’ve pulled strength,” Obama writes in the letter. “I’ve seen you, the American people, in all your decency, determination, good humor, and kindness. And in our daily acts of citizenship, I’ve seen our future unfolding.”
Read more about the Obama farewell
- Vox’s Dara Lind on Obama’s parting warning for Trump
- “Why Barack Obama thinks his legacy will survive Trump,” by Vox’s Ezra Klein
- Klein on why Americans will miss Obama’s basic decency
- The Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates, offering a dissenting interpretation on Obama’s sunny, and perhaps naive, optimism in the goodwill of the American people.
- Vox’s Dylan Matthews on Obama’s refusal to treat the Trump moment as a crisis