US President Barack Obama will deliver a farewell speech next week from his political stronghold of Chicago, one of the last times he will be able to advocate for his policies before the inauguration of Donald Trump.
The Republican political novice has vowed to rip up key Obama initiatives such as the so-called Obamacare healthcare reform act, to back out of climate change agreements and to reassess ties with foreign allies and foes.
Obama will hand over the reins of power to Trump on January 20.
“On Tuesday, January 10, I’ll go home to Chicago to say my grateful farewell to you, even if you can’t be there in person,” Obama said in a short statement released Monday, noting that the tradition of a presidential farewell speech dates back to George Washington.
Obama, who is returning to Washington on Monday after a two-week family vacation in Hawaii, said he was just beginning to write his remarks.
“I’m thinking about them as a chance to say thank you for this amazing journey, to celebrate the ways you’ve changed this country for the better these past eight years, and to offer some thoughts on where we all go from here,” he said.
On Sunday he said in a tweet: “It’s been the privilege of my life to serve as your President. I look forward to standing with you as a citizen.”
Obama celebrated his election to the White House eight years ago in front of a huge and ecstatic crowd in Chicago, his adopted hometown.
He will deliver his speech next week from the McCormick Place convention center, the site of his victory speech after winning re-election in 2012.