President Barack Obama returned to the city that launched his political career to give one final speech.
His speech sought to comfort a country on edge over rapid economic changes, persistent security threats and the election of Donald Trump.
When the crowd started to boo Donald Trump, Obama stressed that one great thing about this country is “the peaceful transfer of power from one president to the next.”
Obama’s speech before thousands on Tuesday evening was his last chance to try to define what his presidency meant for America, and a fitting bookend. Chicago is where the nation’s first black president declared victory in 2008 and where he cultivated his optimistic brand of American politics.
Obama didn’t just say farewell to the nation. He said goodbye to Air Force One, too.
The White House says Obama’s roundtrip to his Chicago hometown Tuesday to deliver the valedictory speech for his two terms as president marked the 445th time he’s flown aboard the familiar, eye-catching blue and white U.S. government airplane. The plane goes by the call sign “Air Force One” whenever a sitting president is on board.
But no more for Obama.
Tuesday’s flight was almost certainly the last one for him before he leaves office. Up until the Chicago trip, Air Force One had flown 2,799 hours and six minutes with Obama as a passenger, or the equivalent of 116 days. He traveled to 56 different countries and 49 states.
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