Not since George H.W. Bush’s speech from the West Point Military Academy in 1993 has the President of the United States bid a farewell from outside of the Oval Office. And even in the case of Bush’s speech, he never confirmed the appearance as a formal goodbye. Barack Obama broke the Washington tradition last night when he traveled back to where it all began — his hometown Chicago — to give his final speech. Eventgoers lined the halls of the McCormick Place (2301 S. King) early Tuesday morning and people were still hustling into the arena moments into the beginning of Obama’s dialogue. There was a palpable electricity in the air as Obama’s longtime supporters, many of whom were on the campaign trail with him in 2008, devotedly absorbed the president’s remarks and listened to Obama’s interpretations about the years ahead. As expected, the farewell was poignant, as the country’s leader bid a heartfelt goodbye from the country that is his and the city he calls home.
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