On Tuesday night, Barack Obama made his final speech as President of the United States in Chicago. It would have been an emotional, bittersweet moment even without the knowledge of what – or, more specifically, who – will soon be replacing him (and we repeat, for the millionth time: please, God, no). For eight years, America has enjoyed having a cool, witty, scandal-free politician and his smart, gracious, passionate wife in the White House. With the prospect of the Trump era looming on the horizon, it sometimes feels like we may never see the Obamas’ kind again.
And it wasn’t just us who were tearing up a bit as we watched Obama sign off with the words: “Yes we can. Yes we did. Yes we can.” Across Twitter, everyone from A-list celebrities to regular people was paying tribute to the Obamas: some with humour, some with sadness, but all with gratitude. Here are some of the best posts.
Twitter’s character limit wasn’t enough for Ellen DeGeneres, who was granted America’s highest civilian honour – the Medal of Freedom – by Obama in November.
Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star Nia Long paid tribute to Michelle Obama, who Obama described in his speech as “not only my wife and mother of my children, but my best friend”.
Vlogger Samaiyah Gooden shared some ideas for who could follow Trump.
Whoopi Goldberg commended Obama’s class and style – something that might be in short supply over the next four years.
And BOOM...THAT is the way a President drops the microphone and moves on down the road— Whoopi Goldberg (@WhoopiGoldberg) January 11, 2017
US site Geeks of Color used a very apt Broad City GIF to sum up how we’re all feeling right now...
… While singer Keri Hilson said what we were all thinking.
I know this is beside the whole point of tonight, but, I just want someone who looks at me...speaks of me...the way Barack does Michelle. 😢🤧— Keri Hilson (@KeriHilson) January 11, 2017
Musician and actress Janelle Monáe, the star of Hidden Figures and Moonlight, dug out a throwback from the President’s early website – and reminded us that the Obamas aren’t disappearing off the face of the earth.
Katy Perry retweeted US political commentator Sally Kohn, who posted a message quoting Obama: “If you’re tired of arguing with strangers on the internet, try talking with one of them in real life.”
One British Twitter user presented his followers with a particularly un-fun game of spot the difference.
But the final word, of course, must go to the man himself.
Thank you for everything. My last ask is the same as my first. I'm asking you to believe—not in my ability to create change, but in yours.— President Obama (@POTUS44) January 11, 2017
Images: Rex Features