Obama tells the press that his departure should not be met with a sense of despair.
Barack Obama addressed the press today for the last time of his tenure as the 44th President of the United States. He began by thanking the press for challenging him, keeping him honest, and providing an indispensable service to American democracy. He then called on reporters from a wide array of outlets, some of whom have been following him throughout his presidency.
With his answers, Obama clearly tried to convey the same type of optimism that won him the White House in 2009, even though that sense of hope may not be shared my the majority of his supporters. "I believe in this country. I believe in the American people," he said toward the end of the conference. "I believe that people are more good than bad."
His hopeful words are not just a case of "no drama Obama," said the president with two days left in the Oval Office. "I think we're going to be OK," he told the Press Corps. "We just have to fight for it, we have to work for it and not take it for granted and I know that you will help us do that."
Elsewhere, he spoke on the need to maintain a progressive stance toward issues like voting rights, LGBT rights, and the deportation of undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. As for his plans for the long-awaited vacation to Palm Springs he will embark on upon leaving office, he said, "I want to do some writing. I want to be quiet a little bit and not hear myself talk so darn much. I want to spend precious time with my girls."
Watch the press conference below, and read a full transcript of the event here.