He noted in the speech that First Lady Michelle Obama, his partner for the past 25 years, took “a role you didn’t ask for and made it your own with grace and with grit and with style and with good humor,” he said, pausing to wipe his eyes with a tissue and regain composure.
“You made the White House a place that belongs to everybody,” Obama said before a packed, cheering audience of about 18,000 people at McCormick Place in Chicago. “And a new generation sets its sights higher because it has you as a role model. You have made me proud and you have made the country prouder.” The proud dad thanked teen daughters, Malia and Sasha, for coming of age during the “strangest of circumstances”.
He futher said, “You wore the burden of years in the spotlight so easily,” Obama said, speaking directly to his 18-year-old daughter, Malia, who held back her own tears during the speech.
“Of all that I’ve done in my life, I am most proud to be your dad,” he added.
His youngest daughter, Sasha, 15, was absent from the Tuesday night address and White House officials said she was studying for a test according to Daily news.
The outgoing president applauded his administration’s eight years of change during the hour-long address, naming the Supreme Court ruling that granted marriage equality, the death of leader Osama Bin Laden and signing the Paris Agreement. But his daughters were at the forefront of his thoughts.