For President Obama, his farewell address wasn’t so much of a retirement party, but a transitional speech that offered hints at what his post-presidential career will hold.
The President gave a hint of what his next fight will be when he said:
It falls to each of us to be those anxious, jealous guardians of our democracy; to embrace the joyous task we’ve been given to continually try to improve this great nation of ours. Because for all our outward differences, we all share the same proud title: Citizen.
Ultimately, that’s what our democracy demands. It needs you. Not just when there’s an election, not just when your own narrow interest is at stake, but over the full span of a lifetime. If you’re tired of arguing with strangers on the internet, try to talk with one in real life. If something needs fixing, lace up your shoes and do some organizing. If you’re disappointed by your elected officials, grab a clipboard, get some signatures, and run for office yourself. Show up. Dive in. Persevere. Sometimes you’ll win. Sometimes you’ll lose. Presuming a reservoir of goodness in others can be a risk, and there will be times when the process disappoints you. But for those of us fortunate enough to have been a part of this work, to see it up close, let me tell you, it can energize and inspire. And more often than not, your faith in America – and in Americans – will be confirmed.
Obama made it a little clearer as he concluded, “My fellow Americans, it has been the honor of my life to serve you. I won’t stop; in fact, I will be right there with you, as a citizen, for all my days that remain.”
In his post-presidential career, Barack Obama is not going to go quietly into retirement. Instead, Obama is going to build the next great popular movement and the leaders who will run for office and take back this country.
Podcast on Obama Farewell Address:
Obama is going back to his organizer roots. Donald Trump’s victory, which should be viewed as the last great gasp of the white Baby Boomer generation, is not the future.
Barack Obama understands that the future is not in a white billionaire seventy-year-old. The future is in the generation of leaders that were inspired and grew up in the Obama years.
President Obama may have said goodbye to his presidency in his farewell address, but he was also setting the stage for his next great fight.