With the presidential inauguration and the transition to a new president, it's only fitting to write about the man that has been living in that big white house up in DC for the past eight years. While Barack Obama was the president, and the center of all things politics, that is not what this article is about. I neither follow the news intensely (my news updates consist of notifications from the CNN app on my phone), nor do I pretend to know the fine details of policies and laws. At this stage in my life, I simply follow politics in general: the big events in today's society. With that being said, I do know one thing. Obama is incredible. Yes, it has to do with his presidency, but it's not simply because he's passed laws or bettered the economy. While that is a part of it, the real reason Obama is a man so many people look up to is because of who he is and what he stands for. So, while it's impossible to fully explain all that makes up the unbelievable man known as the 44th President of the United States, here are just a few.
"Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek." -February 5th, 2008
Obama said these words not because he had to, but because he meant them. In 2008, he promised change for the country, and throughout his eight years as president he has proven that.
His devotion to his daughters
"What makes you a man is not the ability to have a child- any fool can have a child. That's doesn't make you father. It's the courage to raise a child that makes you a father." - June 15th, 2008
Being president demands a great deal from a person, yet Obama always made time for his daughters.
“For the past 25 years, you’ve not only been my wife and the mother of my children, you’ve been my best friend. You took on a role you didn’t ask for and you made it your own with grace, grit and style." - January 10th, 2017
Obama is never shy to share his unconditional love for Michelle, his wife of over 20 years. Their love has filled the hearts of many across the country for years. Their first date was even made into a movie Southside with you.
"There is not a liberal America and a conservative America - there is the United States of America. There is not a black America and a white America and latino America and asian America - there's the United States of America." - July 27th, 2004
Obama celebrates the diversity that makes up the United States, and at the same time emphasizes that no matter race, religion, or political views, we are all Americans.
“As some of you heard, the state of Hawaii released my official long-form birth certificate. Hopefully, this puts all doubts to rest. But just in case they’re any lingering questions, tonight I’m prepared to go a step further. Tonight, for the first time, I am releasing my official birth video." - April 30th, 2011
Even with such a heated topic such as his birth certificate, Obama isn't afraid to crack a joke here or there.
His "bromance" with Joe Biden
"You were the first choice I made as a nominee, and the best. Not just because you have been a great vice president, but because in the bargain, I gained a brother. We love you and Jill like family, and your friendship has been one of the great joys of our life." - January 10th, 2017
Obama and Biden have shown what true friendships looks like.
He isn't afraid to show emotion
"From every family who never imagined that their loved one would be taken from our lives by a bullet from a gun....every time I think about those kids it gets me mad." - January 5th, 2016
Obama wiped away tears as he discussed gun violence, specifically after the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting. And while some may see crying as a sense of weakness, Obama understands the importance of emotions.
His compassion for children
"Above all, children need our unconditional love, whether they succeed or make mistakes; when life is easy and when life is tough." - June 18th, 2011
Obama has made clear countless times just how important is is for us to cherish our children, the next generation.
His fight for women's rights
“[T]his is an extraordinary time to be a woman. … [W]e shouldn’t downplay how far we’ve come... at the same time, there’s still a lot of work we need to do to improve the prospects of women and girls here and around the world.” - August 4th, 2016
Obama understands the true meaning of equality and equal rights, and that half of the country's population does not have these equal rights. Unlike some, he acknowledges the fact, and over his eight years has strived to change that.
And calling himself a feminist
“[I]t’s important that their dad is a feminist, because now that’s what they expect of all men.” - August 4th, 2016
Obama is fighting for equal rights, not just for his daughters, but for all women across the country. And at the same time, winning the father of the year award.
His understanding of the country's citizens
"You're tired of hearing promises made and plans proposed in the heat of a campaign only to have nothing change when everyone goes back to Washington." - February 5th, 2008
While some talk about their plans for the future, Obama acts on his plans. He makes promises with the clear intention of keeping them.
His praise for the future
“What I’ve realized is that life doesn’t count for much unless you’re willing to do your small part to leave our children — all of our children — a better world." - June 15th, 2008
Not only does Obama understand the importance of now, and being in the moment, but also that we need to look ahead to the future, to our children.
Even though he may not be our president anymore, he will continue to do amazing things. Fight for women's rights, celebrate the next generation, be a loving husband and father. No matter what house, or what arena he's in, Obama will continue to better our country each and every day. So, thank you Obama. Thank you for being compassionate and brave. Thank you for speaking your mind. Thank you for teaching the world what it means to be an incredible person. Thank you for being someone I have looked up to these past eight years. Thank you.