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Politics and policy

Obama pushes values and prods Trump in final, emotional address

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US First Lady Michelle Obama (C) and US President Barack Obama greet supporters as daughter Malia looks on after he delivered his farewell address in Chicago, Illinois on January 10, 2017. AFP PHOTO | JOSHUA LOTT

US First Lady Michelle Obama (C) and US President Barack Obama greet supporters as daughter Malia looks on after he delivered his farewell address in Chicago, Illinois on January 10, 2017. AFP PHOTO | JOSHUA LOTT 

By REUTERS

Posted  Wednesday, January 11   2017 at  09:56

In Summary

  • Obama gently prodded the public to embrace his vision of progress while repudiating some of the policies that Trump promoted during his campaign for the White House.

Trump won his election in part by appealing to working-class white men.

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First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, his wife Jill Biden, and many current and former White House staff members and campaign workers attended the speech. Obama wiped his eyes as he addressed his wife and thanked his running mate. They all appeared together on stage after the address.

The Chicago visit is Obama's last scheduled trip as president, and even the final flight on the presidential aircraft was tinged with wistfulness.

It was the president's 445th "mission" on Air Force One, a perk he has said he will miss when he leaves office, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.

All told, Obama will have spent more than 2,800 hours or 116 days on the plane during his presidency.

Obama plans to remain in Washington for the next two years while his younger daughter, Sasha, finishes high school. Sasha, who has an exam on Wednesday, did not attend the speech but her older sister Malia was there.

The president has indicated he wants to give Trump the same space that his predecessor, Republican President George W. Bush, gave Obama after leaving office by not maintaining a high public profile.

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