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This article originally appeared on The Washington Times
There’s a bodacious presidential event in the making, and it’s not the inauguration. President Obama is planning a major farewell address which does not appear to be a farewell at all. It portends to be a dramatic foreshadowing of his future plans, and it is bound to be a doozy, staged at Chicago’s McCormick Place — the biggest convention center in the entire nation. Talking points and noble references could be abundant at the event, scheduled for Jan. 10 — 10 days before President-elect Donald Trump assumes office.
“Since George Washington, U.S. presidents have often delivered a final address to the American people as a way to share both their reflections on their time in office and their outlook on the future of our country,” Mr. Obama reasons in a public advisory. “I’m just beginning to write my remarks. But I’m thinking about them as a chance to say thank you for this amazing journey, to celebrate the ways you’ve changed this country for the better these past eight years, and to offer some thoughts on where we all go from here.”
Interesting choice of words. Also interesting: Mr. Obama will host a reunion in Chicago for “Obama Alumni” staffers and volunteers nationwide who worked on multiple political operations. These alumni are many. There are, in fact, 14 distinct regional groups according to the D.C.-based National Obama Alumni Association; 99 “alumni” already have run for public office in 29 states. The White House is also revamping the old campaign phrase “Yes We Can” on social media. Mr. Obama, who will remain in the nation’s capital for the next year or so, does not appear ready to slip quietly into retirement.
“As I prepare to take on the even more important role of citizen, know that I will be there with you every step of the way to ensure that this country forever strives to live up to the incredible promise of our founding — that all of us are created equal, and all of us deserve every chance to live out our dreams,” the president said in a weekend address.
The Farewell Speech will happen on January 10th. Click this link for event details.