Barack Obama has addressed the United States and the world for the final time as president, in an emotional speech that listed the landmark achievements of his presidency and stressed unity as nation.
Capping his eight years in the White House, Obama returned on Tuesday to his adoptive hometown of Chicago to recast his “Yes we can” campaign credo as “Yes we did”.
He summarised his achievements from the Iran nuclear deal to reforming healthcare. Much of the speech was dedicated to lifting up supporters shaken by President-elect Donald Trump’s shock election.
Obama called on them to pick up the torch, fight for democracy and forge a new “social compact”.
“For all our outward differences, we are all in this together,” he said warning that partisanship, racism, and inequality all threatened democracy. “We rise or fall as one.”
“All of us, regardless of party, should throw ourselves into the task of rebuilding our democratic institutions.”
The incoming Republican president has smashed conventions, vowed to efface Obama’s legacy and hurled personal insults left and right, while in a virtually unprecedented move US intelligence has accused the Kremlin of seeking to tip the election in Trump’s favour.
Democrats, cast into the political wilderness with the loss of the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives plus a majority of statehouses, are struggling to regroup.