Farewell, Our President

This morning, President Obama left the Oval Office for the last time as President of the United States.

Entering a new era of American and world history on this 20th of January, a sense of uncertainty envelops our nation.

What will the next four years bring? Will we close ourselves off from the rest of the world, tightening immigration policies and engendering conflict through confrontational trade and military positions?

One thing is clear: President Obama has left Donald Trump a well manned and refurbished “cruise liner” on which he enters the domestic and international political scene.

For many, Barack Obama is a beacon of hope and change unlike anything we have experienced in our lives. For many federal employees, including some I spoke to while in Washington, D.C., this week, Barack Obama inspired them to focus their professional lives on the goal of working for our nation and its people.



Around the world, particularly with our strongest international allies, Obama’s presidency instilled a new belief in cooperation with the United States, particularly after a fraught start to the 21th century. International cooperation allowed the Iran deal to succeed, kept a growing China in check and peaceful, as much as possible, and has been the engine that helped the Iraqis ste the tide of the Islamic State in the Middle East.

On the domestic front, the Democratic Party will face a reckoning. With a still unknown new head of the DNC and a minority in every federal legislative body, Democrats need to chart a positive path for the future.

In his last interview as President, Barack Obama told former staffers on the restyled “Pod Save America” (previously “Keepin’ It 1600”) podcast that he sees Jason Kander, candidate for Senate in Missouri in 2016 as one of those beacons who can serve as a Democratic compass over the next four years.

As far as answers to how Democrats move forward these next four years, President Obama said the fight will be local. Take a cue from how the Tea Party fought against the Affordable Care Act, he suggested. If there is any silver lining to those distraught by the outcome of this election, it is that many will have the drive to fight for what is right.

We are all Americans, Democrat or Republican. We are a decent people. In the end, we are all in this together. In the words of our President: “If you [Mr. Trump] succeed, then the country succeeds.”

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