Obama Issues “Thank You” Letter To Americans

In the last week we’ve had a farewell speech, a final weekly YouTube address, and a final press conference. This afternoon we get President Obama’s official goodbye letter. From the White House press office:

My fellow Americans, It’s a long-standing tradition for the sitting president of the United States to leave a parting letter in the Oval Office for the American elected to take his or her place. It’s a letter meant to share what we know, what we’ve learned, and what small wisdom may help our successor bear the great responsibility that comes with the highest office in our land, and the leadership of the free world.

But before I leave my note for our 45th president, I wanted to say one final thank you for the honor of serving as your 44th. Because all that I’ve learned in my time in office, I’ve learned from you. 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. I’ve seen neighbors and communities take care of each other during the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes. I have mourned with grieving families searching for answers — and found grace in a Charleston church.

I’ve taken heart from the hope of young graduates and our newest military officers. I’ve seen our scientists help a paralyzed man regain his sense of touch, and wounded warriors once given up for dead walk again. I’ve seen Americans whose lives have been saved because they finally have access to medical care, and families whose lives have been changed because their marriages are recognized as equal to our own. I’ve seen the youngest of children remind us through their actions and through their generosity of our obligations to care for refugees, or work for peace, and, above all, to look out for each other.

I’ve seen you, the American people, in all your decency, determination, good humor, and kindness. And in your daily acts of citizenship, I’ve seen our future unfolding. All of us, regardless of party, should throw ourselves into that work — the joyous work of citizenship. Not just when there’s an election, not just when our own narrow interest is at stake, but over the full span of a lifetime. I’ll be right there with you every step of the way.

And when the arc of progress seems slow, remember: America is not the project of any one person. The single most powerful word in our democracy is the word ‘We.’ ‘We the People.’ ‘We shall overcome.’ Yes, we can.

  • KCMC
  • WitlessProtection

    I am so going to miss this man.

  • Tomcat

    I already miss Obama.

    • Falconlights

      Me, too.

  • Tomcat

    Can’t wait to miss Trump.

    • Bared Bear

      I’m sure there’s a piss joke in there somewhere.

      • tomfromthenews

        Well, if I were pissing, I’d make certain I didn’t miss.

    • Thorn Spike

      The farewell tweet should be a doozy.

      • Librarykid

        well laced with spittle as he insanely screams it.

    • What makes you think he’ll ever leave? He’s already said a number of times now that elections were unnecessary.

    • Falconlights

      Me, too.

  • Butch

    OT but do please read this, from No More Mr. Nice Blog, regarding placing bets on the color of Trump’s skin during the inauguration:

    • another_steve


      I like the long odds given for him saying “grab ‘er by the pussy” during his inaugural address.

      One never knows, though. Maybe he’ll see an attractive young woman in the audience and verbally slip-up.

  • Do Something Nice

    Obvious slam at Trump, who doesn’t meet the criteria for any of this: “I’ve seen you, the American people, in all your decency, determination, good humor, and kindness. And in your daily acts of citizenship, I’ve seen our future unfolding. All of us, regardless of party, should throw ourselves into that work — the joyous work of citizenship.”

    • pch1013

      Esp. the last part. I don’t think the word ‘We’ is in Mafia Don’s vocabulary, unless he’s just talking about his own family and cronies.

  • kaydenpat

    No, thank you POTUS!

  • andrew

    Thank you President Obama for leading our nation with such intelligence and dignity for the last eight years.

  • Giant Monster Gamera

    History, should be be written, will be kind to this man and vicious against those that tried so hard to bring him down.

  • Bared Bear

    I’m sorry that you had to be civil to the republicans who never returned the favor. I thought that I could not despise them more… I was wrong.

    • douglas

      I hope he leaves a copy of his birth certificate on the desk and a reminder about releasing those tax returns.

  • HZ81

    Thank you, last sitting President of the USA.

    • Falconlights

      I hope that you are wrong about Obama being the “last sitting President of the USA” and at some point we shall have elections again.

      • HZ81

        My hope has left the building for good. I am envious of yours.

  • Boreal
  • I’m sure tRump will be as eloquent and classy as this fellow.

    • Bared Bear

      He’ll be soft and sensual… when he orders the military to strike against their country’s own citizens.

      • oh.
        well, that’s good.
        i feel better.

        • Bared Bear

          You’re welcome. I like to think of myself as being optimistically pessimistic in these interesting times.

  • Bill

    I still can’t believe this is happening.

  • bkmn

    Just saw the GOP is preparing to change the rules so they can reclassify federal lands as worthless so they can sell them to their buds. Between the unregulated mining and the pending death of the EPA ma & pa Kettle might want to find something other than the fish and game they catch to eat.

    • Boreal

      They’ll just blame Obama and the Democrats and keep voting repug.

    • (((GC)))

      Republicans in Congress Set Value of All Public Lands and Buildings to $0 for Easy Sell Off at Taxpayers’ Expense
      (Brody Levesque, The New Civil Rights Movement)

      I wish it were from The Onion!

      Unlike some coverage, this one doesn’t bury the lede in order to sound “unbiased”.

      • IamM

        Always good to see the party of capitalism and fiscal responsibility /s giving away valuable property that belongs to the public.

        • Bj Lincoln

          I had no idea this was going on. If this goes thru, it will be so sad.

          • Prixator

            Sad? Try outrageous!

    • Librarykid

      The Kettles and their kind won’t be alive much longer under the gentle ministrations of the GOP.

    • Falconlights

      What a bunch of sick bastards!

  • gaymex1

    …a beautiful man, inside and out. What class!

  • Natty Enquirer

    I do hope we survive the Orange Arc of Regress and live to fulfill Obama’s platitudes.

  • bambinoitaliano

    I suggest Obama continue to make headline news everyday from here on. Especially tomorrow. Nothing grate the cheetolini more than taking away his attention. We all should just pay attention to everything else but inauguration tomorrow. The way I skip those award shows and hear about it the next day.

    • MT YVR

      Actually I like this. Any time, ANY time Trump starts being whiney the media should all switch to “And here are the Obama’s on vacation. This is Barack making tea for his wife…”

      And best of all would be “press conferences” where, when he get’s cranky enough and dodges enough just have the room randomly ONLY ask questions about “What are the Obamas doing now? Donald? Donald? Do you know what they’re doing today? It seems they’re looking at puppies. Do you have a comment about the puppies the Obamas are looking at, Donald?”

    • BobSF_94117

      Maybe he should start angry tweeting….

      • bambinoitaliano

        Doesn’t have to be angry, just troll the Putin’s golden shower apprentice.

    • pch1013

      What’ll REALLY chap Mafia Don’s ass is when his approval numbers continue to lag far behind Obama’s at similar points in his so-called administration. Of course he’ll just insist the polls are fake, but that’ll only get him so far.

  • geoffalnutt

    These endless (seeming) “goodbyes” are just killing me. I have deliberately avoided them all – for fear of breaking right down, losing control. Finest President of my lifetime…and I’m 60. Thank you, President Obama. Please stay close.

    • Schlukitz

      Same here. Finest President in my lifetime…and I am 80.

  • JCF

    And then the opposite: Drumpf speaking at a luncheon of his sycophants and billionaires (i.e., Congressional Rethugs and Cabinet). Cabinet “highest IQ Cabinet ever!”

    And then there there was something happening at the back of the room. What’s going on? Oh: it’s the press being kicked out. Welcome to Our New Reality!


  • barrixines
    • Librarykid

      MacArthur Park explained!

  • Ross

    And thank YOU, Mr. President.

  • BobSF_94117

    He’s totally in denial about what’s about to happen.

  • Cackalaquiano

    Compare that to what we might get from Trump when he leaves.
    Well, he’ll be leaving in handcuffs, so..,

  • JWC

    To America I extend my heartfelt tearful sympathies both on the lose of a stellar couple who are leaving and the couple who will next occupy that space Occupy rather than replace seems more accurate Hugz People

  • stuckinthewoods

    “tradition to..leave a parting letter………But before I leave my note..” A post-it.
    Wouldn’t you love to read that “note”?

  • TheManicMechanic

    No, thank you, Mister President.

  • Ernest Endevor

    Sent a message of thanks at whitehouse.gov. Maybe it’s pissing in the wind but it was a comfort to offer personal thanks for all he’s done.

    • Librarykid

      It’s not working anymore. I wonder what the family is doing on their last night there?

      • Ernest Endevor

        Getting drunk? Packing?

  • KnownDonorDad
  • Dear Mr. President,

    You made one terrible, terrible mistake which unfortunately will undo every one of your good achievements: You failed to do what you were elected to do in 2008, and that was to hold the Republicans and the Banksters accountable for what they did to the country in the eight years before.

    Your other mistakes? Continuing to try to work with a party that publicly stated over and over their goal was to ruin your presidency. And with respect to the ACA, you backloaded that which people needed the most years down the road, so that Republicans had roughly four straight years to spread lies about what it was and what it would do for Americans.

    And most sad of all was the fact you knew the Russians were interfering with our election and you likely also knew that the incoming President-Elect was entirely compromised and corrupt…and you did not act.

    I appreciate the good stuff. The fact you eased us out of two active wars the previous administration never planned to end, ever. The ACA, which is why I have the insurance the Republicans are going to take away. The drastically reduced deficit, even though the Republicans keep lying about that, too. The expansion of civil rights for many minority groups, including LGBT folks. Your many actions to protect the environment, and so much more.

    Unfortunately, your other mistakes are going to cause all of your good actions to be undone almost immediately. And that is dismaying beyond measure.

    All because you mistakenly believed the opposition party would work with you in good faith. Now look where we are. A man already committing impeachment-worthy offenses is going to be installed in the Oval Office, backed by a party that sees nothing wrong with what he’s doing, and a future where many of us Americans have no idea if we’ll see free-and-fair elections ever again…or if we’ll be living in a nuclear fallout wasteland because someone posted a mean tweet.


    • billbear1961

      Thank you for posting this.

    • Joseph Miceli

      You TELL IT, Sister!!!!

  • LesbianTippingHabits

    Farewell to a class act. Thank you.

  • fuzzybits
  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    He was a great man and will be remembered as such. Unfortunately, like many great men he had flaws, the greatest of these was believing that those on the other side of the aisle were people of honour or patriotism; they were neither. Because of that, much of what he brought forth will now be rendered to dust. The question now is: will America remember their culpability in allowing fear and resentment, lies and obfuscations, and host of other ugly things cloud their minds and usher in the era of Trump? More importantly, will they do something about it, no matter the cost? We, on the outside looking in, now hold our breath in anticipation as to whether the American experiment is indeed still alive…or D.O.A.

  • Joseph Miceli

    “Yes we can…”… but we didn’t, did we? Everything you think you accomplished is going to turn to shit because Dems fucked up yet again. The damage done in the next four years will take a generation to undo…and even then we may never recover. You even punted on Merrick Garland without a fight because that would have been “too divisive.’
    Well, you failed to lead. You failed to be aggressive enough. Thank you very much for keeping the flame alive, but you failed to make sure that it would be taken care of once you were gone. For that and that alone I count you as a failure.
    Amazing. I’m proud of what you tried but you just weren’t the man for the times.

    • Claude Jacques Bonhomme

      History will tell. He left some things that may be harder than anticipated to undo, and that’s why different factions of the GOP are running like chickens with their head cut off. He has brought hope and delivered, at least in the short term and, in my mind, the jury is still out on the long term impact.

      Education and the courts will have a lasting effect if there is no fight on the left.

    • billbear1961

      I’m really afraid this will be the final verdict.

      The failure to INSIST on action on Garland is unbelievable and INFURIATING.

  • EqualityForAll
  • Falconlights

    This is absolutely beautiful. I really didn’t know how Obama would work out, but the alternative was awful–and besides, I have never voted Republican and I wasn’t going to start in 2008! When he was nominated, I was disappointed because I was hoping for a chance to elect the first woman president. Still I voted for Obama.

    During his first term, I hoped that we would would see more progress on LGBT rights–and we did see some, at least on the state and local level, but not a lot. Then, in 2010, DADT was repealed. I wondered if we would see marriage equality during his presidency.

    Still when Obama was nominated for a second term in 2012. I wasn’t happy at the pace of progress, but I was satisfied with his performance in other areas. So I voted for him again because of my general satisfaction and because a Romney presidency would be a disaster for LGBT rights. I cried at his second inaugural address when he mentioned LGBT people–the first time that a President had mentioned us. In June of 2013, the SCOTUS ruled that DOMA was unconstitutional. Then, on June 25th, 2013. The SCOTUS ruled in favor of of the plaintiffs in Obergefell v, Hodges, in effect legalizing marriage equality nationwide.

    I also respect how he and his family handled all the hate directed at them. I admired their elegance and class. I loved Obama and his tightly-knit family.

    So Mr. President, thank you and your family for 8 wonderful years!

  • JCF