Obama offers optimism — and warnings — in farewell address

 

Chicago (CNN)      Popular but politically humbled, President Barack Obama said goodbye to the nation Tuesday night, declaring during his farewell address that he hasn’t abandoned his vision of progressive change but warning that it now comes with a new set of caveats.

His voice at moments catching with emotion, Obama recounted a presidency that saw setbacks as well as successes. Admitting candidly that political discourse has soured under his watch, Obama demanded that Americans renew efforts at reconciliation.
“It falls to each of us to be those anxious, jealous guardians of our democracy,” the President said. “To embrace the joyous task we’ve been given to continually try to improve this great nation of ours.”
Obama also stressed solidarity despite a presidency sometimes at odds with Congress.
During his speech Tuesday, Obama voice quaked when describing his wife’s service.
“You took on a role you didn’t ask for and made it your own with grace and grit and style and good humor,” he said. “You made the White House a place that belongs to everybody.”
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