So it’s really happening: Obama has left the building, with his Presidency at an end and the West Wing empty.
And, for the last six years of his time in charge, we’ve been granted a glimpse into his working schedule via the ‘West Wing Week’ video diaries, which have been posted to the White House YouTube page.
They’ve just posted the 388th episode, and the last to feature Obama and – we’ll be honest here – it’s absolutely heartbreaking.
Watching him say goodbye to his staff, to his co-workers, a visiting sports team, to his colleague Joe Biden, and to the American people, you can see just how much respect he commands from everyone around him. At ease with kids and adults alone, the whole thing is a serious tearjearker, leading up to his emotional final speech to the press corp – the people who the American people will be relying on to hold incoming President Trump to account over the next four years.
“I believe in this country. I believe in the American people. I believe that people are more good than bad. I believe tragic things happen – I think there’s evil in the world – but I think that, at the end of the day, if we work hard, and we’re true to those things in us that feel true, and feel right, that the world gets a little better each time. That’s what this Presidency’s tried to be about. And I see that in the young people I’ve worked with. I couldn’t be prouder of them. And so, this is not just a matter of ‘no drama, Obama’, this is what I really believe. It is true that behind closed doors I curse more than I do in public. And sometimes I get mad, and frustrated, like everybody else does. But, at my core, I think we’re gonna be OK, 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.”
Farewell, Mr Obama.