Speaking from the White House in Washington, D.C., earlier today, with Vice President Joe Biden by his side, U.S. President Barack Obama addressed a group of media members and administration staff.
The Obama speech began with the president recalling his words, recorded in a video the previous day.
“The sun would come up in the morning,” no matter who won, said President Obama, Trump or Clinton.
“The sun is up,” Obama stated.
After saying that he had a “long night,” the president recounted a 3:30 a.m. phone call with President-elect Donald J. Trump, congratulating him on his victory.
President Obama further explained that he had invited Donald Trump to the White House tomorrow, to work toward a “successful transition” from his administration to that of the president-elect.
Obama frankly explained that there is no secret in the fact that he and Donald Trump share a list of “pretty significant differences.”
The commander-in-chief asked citizens to recall that he and George W. Bush also shared differences. He drew a picture of a Bush-Obama transition that characterized how “professional and gracious” the members of the Bush administration were.
President Obama said that the positions of the presidency and the vice presidency “are bigger” than any individual American, himself and Joe Biden included. Toward this, he stated that he had instructed his staff “to work as hard as we can” to make sure the Obama-Trump transition is a successful one.
“We are now all rooting for a success. In uniting and leading the country.”
The president held up peaceful transitions of power as being a hallmark of U.S. democracy.
“I could not be prouder of her,” Obama said of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Obama described the former secretary, first lady, and senator’s contribution to public service as “extraordinary.”
The president cited the fact that many U.S. citizens “look up” to the Democratic nominee. He said that Hillary Clinton’s “historic” candidacy sent a message to girls and women throughout the country.
“We are Americans first. We are patriots first. We all want what’s best for this country,” President Obama explained.
Sounding encouraged, the president said that he “heard” this sentiment from President-elect Trump in his acceptance speech, as reported by the Inquisitr, and when he spoke with him on the telephone after Clinton conceded.
“That’s what the country needs,” Obama stated.
The president spoke of Americans’ need for a sense of “inclusion” and “unity.” He held up “respect for our institutions” as being paramount.
President Obama spoke about the work performed by his administration staff, of the group leaving the office in a better situation than eight years ago, resulting in a “stronger, better country.” He said that each member of his staff should be “extraordinarily proud” of all of their achievements.
Barack Obama contrasted his administration’s work with that of doctors, teachers, parents, and small businesses, each building on the progress of those who they follow.
“The work of perfecting this union,” said the president.
“It is hard,” Obama said of the nature of democratic societies.
The president encouraged young Americans, involved in the political process for the first time, to not become “cynical” and to “stay encouraged.” He described working to achieve righteous goals as being “worth it.”
Obama encouraged Americans on the losing side of the election to reflect and learn from their mistakes and “go back at it” trying even harder next time.
President Obama spoke of the importance that the nation “move forward, with a presumption of good faith in our fellow citizens.”
Barack Obama expressed the belief that this faith is “essential” to a democracy that not only functions, but is vibrant.
“That’s how this country has moved forward for 240 years,” President Obama stated.
The president compared the job of president to that of a member of a relay running team, whose job it is do their best when the baton is in their hands, as well as to ensure smooth hand-offs with team members.
“I want to make sure that hand-off is well executed, because, ultimately, we’re all on the same team,” President Obama concluded his speech.
[Featured Image by Alex Wong/Getty Images]