Pres. Barack Obama’s Farewell Address (screengrab)

Thoughts while watching President Obama’s Farewell Address on Facebook Live

Shortly after the news of the new administration’s perverted actions in Russia were released, a very determined, visibly aged outgoing American president took to the podium to address the people. Under the seal of the President of the United States, our 44th President addressed the nation one last time.

Whatever you think of the presidency of Barack Obama, and I know there are many who think of him as one of our greatest presidents and others with a distinctly differing opinion, I think we can all safely say he was unlike any man who has ever occupied the office of President of the United States. And I cannot imagine anyone quite like him in the future. — Dan Rather

He could’ve easily thrown pot shots at his successor but he didn’t. It’s just not his style. It’s not what his Presidency has been about. He would leave the office as he entered it: with humility and respect for the awesome responsibility with which he was entrusted.

“Our democracy is threatened whenever we take it for granted.”

He addressed the state of our nation even as the next administration smears and shames our country and addressed the people as a President, a mentor and inspiration. His speech was a call to action. A call to take back the White House from fascism and oppression by holding the next President accountable.

“All of us, regardless of party, should throw ourselves into the task of rebuilding our democratic institutions.”

A few memorable quotes from tonight’s Farewell Address:**
- “We should be making it easier, not harder to vote.”
- “I reject discrimination against Muslim Americans who are as just as patriotic as we are.”
- “We cannot withdraw from global fights — to expand democracy & human rights, women’s rights & LGBT rights!”
- “When Congress is dysfunctional, we should draw our districts to cater to common sense — and not to rigid extremes.”
- “Let’s be vigilant but not afraid.”
- “Denying science on climate change betrays spirit of America.”
- “Our democracy…needs you. Not just when there’s an election…but over the full span of a lifetime.”

He spoke directly to his wife and daughters and became visibly moved by their love and support.

The Obamas at their Inaugural Ball
“Michelle… For the past 25 years, you have not only been my wife, the mother of my kids but also my best friend.”

Pres. Obama to daughters Malia and Sasha: “Of all that I have done in my life, I’m most proud to be your dad.” -ABC News

Obama’s “final ask” as president: “I am asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about change — but in yours.” -ChiTrib Clout Street on Twitter

President Obama was more than a “first” Black president, he elevated the Oval Office -Ebony Magazine

And the very best report from one of the most incredible journalists of my time, Dan Rather.

He brought us all up and improved the lives of millions of people. His name is going to be heralded in the history books beside George Washington, and Abraham Lincoln. He was MY President and will forever be our reason for change.