Obama's farewell address: how presidents use this moment of reflection

This speech has become a tradition and was begun by America's first President George Washington.
By Leon Clarke | Jan 10, 2017
The primary purpose of the President's speech on Tuesday night in Chicago will be to bid the American people and the world farewell after eight years of his tenure are over. This speech has become a tradition and was begun by America's first President George Washington. Part of his speech became so significant that it is read on the floor of the US Senate every year.

With the arrival of Television, the farewell address now reaches a worldwide audience of a few billion across the globe.
Most speeches have featured a talk on the difficulties of the job, an example being the speech of President Harry Truman. Most Presidents also urge the public to give the next office bearer the support they need.

Others reminisce about the years in power and highlight their accomplishments and the legacies they have left behind like in the case of President Ronald Reagan. He thanked his staff and mentioned how they had proved the critics wrong.

"Once you begin a great movement, there's no telling where it will end," he said. "We meant to change a nation, and instead, we changed the world."

There is also talk of regret and unaccomplished issues which mostly involve temporary peace or a war that could not be ended. Other Presidents have used this platform to warn of coming dangers, and also to urge the American people to guard their values and constitution at all times.

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