Mr. 44th President,
From the bottom of my heart, thank you. I will forever miss growing up with the panache and message you brought to the United States of America as our 44th, and I will be forever grateful for all that you did for this country.
As cartoonist Adam Ellis subtly pointed out in a recent comic he drew of you, “Obama means family. Obama means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.” Looking back, I know you embodied and lived that message throughout your presidency. From your presidential campaign, where you affirmed your belief in the American citizen’s capacity for political change and attracted millions of new voters like never before, to your last day in office, you have succeeded in helping us Americans understand that yes, we can.
Your chant, which so prominently became a hallmark of your campaigns and your national image, was the launch pad for my enthusiasm for American politics. If I had never heard you bellow these three words or watched your election to the presidency on live television eight years ago, or even heard about you, I’d never have gone on to revisit American politics over the years, and I would never have truly sparked my interest in it last year. Thank you for that.
Your presidency — during which you brought an extensive healthcare package into law, salvaged an economy virtually raptured by the global financial crisis of 2007 and 2008, started the Pay as You Earn student loan repayment program, spawned dank Barack n’ Joe memes on the Internet, restarted relations with Cuba, fought from without and from within the nation to mitigate global climate change, immortalized ice cream as a (vice?) presidential foodie, and roasted Hillary, Bernie, and Donald all in one dinner — was quite the road trip adventure Americans never expected but ended up embarking on anyway. Even if you couldn’t fulfill all the ambitions of your campaign, you sure did a handful (which is a lot more than this list has to offer), and you left us amazed these last eight years. I have to say — NOT BAD!
You sure are one of a kind, and nobody will match your finesse and ability. Thanks, Obama.
Good luck out there, Mr. President.
Photo ©2008 by Michael Pittman [CC-BY-SA-2.0]