January 11th, 2017

Things I’m grateful for: the last speech of President Obama

What a long strange trip it’s been.

Eight years of speeches that I mostly haven’t listened to; I read them instead. And I certainly didn’t listen to Obama’s farewell speech tonight. I relied on others to do it for me.

And why should I listen to it, or even read it (although I may do the latter)? These eight years are almost, almost over. One thousand six hundred and six Obama posts (counting this one) later, I’ve done my time. I’ve paid my dues.

And we won’t have Obama to kick around anymore.

As with Nixon, of course—who said that famous line (which was actually “you don’t…, not you won’t…), I bet Obama will continue to claim the spotlight. But unlike Richard Nixon, who became president just six short years after delivering that speech in his supposed “last press conference,” Obama will not be coming back as president.

This post prompted me to watch a brief clip of Nixon’s “kick around” speech, made on the occasion of his losing the California governor’s election in 1962 after losing the presidency in 1960 by a hair. I was surprised at the combination of politeness and the obvious intensity of the unsuccessfully veiled pain and bitterness:

12 Responses to “Things I’m grateful for: the last speech of President Obama”

  1. Rose Says:

    He’s so young there. Seems odd.

  2. huxley Says:

    Amen to the last speech of Obama.


    Though I’ll bet he will manage a few less formal pronouncements before he leaves the White House. And he won’t stop after that either.

  3. Beverly Says:

    Read Monica Crowley’s “Nixon Off the Record.” FASCINATING book about the man in his last years, and his conversations with her about all the great men he’d known, and his take on Bill and Hillary (elected not long before Nixon died) is fascinating as well.

    What struck me most forcibly was what a keen, almost a novelist’s, eye Nixon had for personalities and characters. Very observant fellow.

    He was right, of course, about the viciousness of the press.

  4. Rose Says:

    And now the press has a new target. They’re well rested, after purring about Obama for all these years. Let’s hope they’re rusty.

  5. huxley Says:

    I didn’t have much respect for W. when he barely won in 2000. But by 2008 when GW was leaving, I would agree he was imperfect but I was surprised by my affection for him.

    I was reminded of this from the musical, Pippin.

    I guess I’ll miss the man
    Explain it if you can
    His face was far from fine

    But still I’ll miss his face
    And wonder if he’s missing mine
    Some days he wouldn’t say
    A pleasant word all day

    Some days he’d scowl and curse
    But there were other days
    When he was really even worse

    Some men are heroes
    Some men outshine the sun
    Some men are simple, good men
    This man wasn’t one

    And I won’t miss his moods
    His gloomy solitudes
    His blunt abrasive style

    But please don’t get me wrong
    He was the best to come along
    In a long, long while….


    I know Trump people don’t much like GW but I say the guy was a class act compared to Obama and Republicans would do well to find a way to honor Bush 43.

  6. parker Says:

    I have not listened to bho since the 2012 debates. The messiah will continue to plague us. The msm will keep turning its adoring, Jim Jones, spotlight on his holiness. The Obama’s will make millions upon millions via book deals and speeches all around the globe.. They will be adored and venerated for decades, or as long as the msm remains financially viable. They will continue to lecture us and remain pompous alimentary orifices. You ain’t seen nothing yet.

  7. Lorenz Gude Says:

    In the moment I realized that Trump had really won I felt this enormous sense of relief that it meant that there would be no ‘third Obama term’, no continuation of policies I thought inimical to American interests domestic and foreign. And after his barrage of Parthian shots I too will be glad when he can do no further harm.

  8. CW Says:

    Obama won’t have US to kick around anymore.

  9. Dan Says:

    I fear the era of the dignified president is over. I don’t think a person like Romney could do well in the presidency anymore. A president now has to deal with continual badgering. There are only a few presidents that I can think of that could deal with this modern type of badgering; Teddy, Truman and Coolidge (of all people). I’m sure half of the rest could deal with this type of thing, but I don’t think it would be their “natural” way of dealing with things. There is no way you can be a thoughtful president if you’re constantly being asked about sex acts that most people have to look up to find out what they are.

  10. Phil Christensen Says:

    Worst economic performance by a U.S. President ever:


  11. Barry Meislin Says:

    “You ain’t seen nothing yet.”

    I’m afraid you’re right.

    I’m convinced you’re right.

    We ignore this dishonest destroyer, this cunning arsonist at our peril.

    He will try to do whatever he can…to hog tie Trump, to hog tie the US, to hog tie the West, and to hog tie Israel, all the while smiling that vicious smile of his and insisting in mellifluous tones that all he really wants to do is help out….

    I fear that this final week and a half of his presidency will prove a horror, with the media’s frenzied participation in what will essentially be a long, drawn out walpurgisnacht, an extended ad infinitum two-minute hate…..

    The culmination—Trump’s inauguration (if we make it that far)—will be a savage battlefield, a fitting symbol of what the Democratic party and the media have in store for Trump and the nation he has been elected to lead.

  12. J.J. Says:

    Parker, you nailed it. He will be much worse than Jimmy Carter. Twenty years from now the POTUS will wonder what he can do to get that meddling pretender to shut up and leave us all alone.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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