The President Obama farewell tour is in its home stretch with the two-term Democrat gearing up for his final speech on Tuesday, Jan. 10.
With President-elect Donald Trump and Republican majorities in Congress, the first African-American Commander-in-Chief’s legacy is uncertain as Trump and company have promised to roll back all of his executive actions and the Affordable Care Act, his signature domestic achievement.
But the president is not without his supporters, as evidenced first by his current approval rating — Gallup has him at 56 percent as of Sunday evening, Jan. 8 — and an emotional Obama farewell video posted to the White House website.
In the video, a number of people share their fondest memories of his eight years in office, including Tom Hanks, Samuel L. Jackson, Ellen DeGeneres, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, and John Legend.
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Talk show host and comedian DeGeneres shared a lighthearted memory as her favorite, noting the CVS experience with first lady Michelle Obama “was pretty cool and dancing with Barack at his birthday party.”
“And he’s a good dancer. He should not get any flack for that. You’re a good dancer,” DeGeneres said.
Musician John Legend said he “never cried before from an election result” until 2008, while Washington added that you “really felt those first three words of the Constitution, ‘We the People.'”
“It was one of the first times in my life that I felt like I was really part of that ‘We,'” Washington said.
Despite Republican criticism of the president reopening relations with Cuba — and Trump showing a willingness to roll those relations back — A-Lister Tom Hanks heralded the move in his Obama farewell memory.
“When he just changed all the rules on the table in regards to Cuba with the most succinct motivation imaginable, which is ‘What we’ve been doing hasn’t worked’ — which made all the sense in the world,” Hanks said.
Samuel L. Jackson praised the passage of ObamaCare as his favorite memory from the last eight years, remarking, “The moment that we got the Affordable Care Act passed, because I have relatives that can’t afford health insurance. So it was really a great thing to know that if something happened to them, they could get cared for.”
For DiCaprio’s Obama farewell, he referred back to his appearance at the U.N., where he heard the president say “climate change is the most important issue facing, not only this generation but also future generations,” calling the remarks “inspiring.”
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Of course, the Obama farewell has not been as well received in red parts of the country. Conservative websites like the Daily Caller counteracted the video on Sunday with a viral video of a young woman named Antonia Okafor.
Okafor voted for Obama twice, but rose to prominence in an NRA ad entitled, “I Didn’t Listen,” in which Okafor decried the Obama years as a time of divisiveness and the breaking down of race relations.
She told the Caller that she had voted with the thought that “just because he looks like me, he is best for me,” but ultimately found his policies were harming, “not helping me.”
Okafor believes Trump’s Nov. 8 victory over Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton was a large number of Americans “saying enough” about labels like “racist, misogynist and sexist” or “deplorable” that were used to describe opposing ideas by many in the Clinton campaign.
But which side do you fall on, readers?
Is the Obama farewell video an accurate depiction of the Obama years, or are you looking forward more to the Trump administration? Sound off in the comments section below.
[Featured Image by Marc Nozell/Flickr Creative Commons/Resized and Cropped/CC BY 2.0]