Obama's farewell speech in Chicago was emblematic of the hope by which he was elected; it was also another reminder (as if we needed one) of just how invaluable Michelle and their daughters are to the president.
Reiterating his ceaseless praise of Michelle, Obama teared up while thanking her: "For the past 25 years, you have not only been my wife and mother of my children, you have been my best friend." He wasn't the only one to tear up; Malia did too.
Pres. Obama to Michelle Obama: "You took on a role you didn't ask for...you made the White House a place that belongs to everybody." pic.twitter.com/OOp4H2X9Ov— ABC News (@ABC) January 11, 2017
Obama went on to extol Michelle's stint as first lady. "You took on a role you didn't ask for," he gushed, "and you made it your own with grace and with grit and with style and good humor."
Before thanking his daughters, Obama delivered a final praise to Michelle. "You have made me proud and you have made the country proud," he said.
Pres. Obama to daughters Malia and Sasha: "Of all that I have done in my life, I’m most proud to be your dad." pic.twitter.com/BP0K8TvhBi— ABC News (@ABC) January 11, 2017
Obama transitioned, then wiped a tear from his face while addressing Malia and Sasha (his younger daughter was absent) after Michelle. "Under the strangest of circumstances, you have become two amazing young women," he said. "You are smart and you are beautiful, but more importantly, you are kind and you are thoughtful and you are full of passion."
He continued, "Of all that I have done in my life, I am most proud to be your dad." That's a pretty powerful achievement, considering Obama's extensive legacy. But, as Obama told his former adviser David Axelrod, their relationships never depended on his success.