President Barack Obama will return to his adopted hometown of Chicago on Tuesday to deliver a farewell address to the American people. In an email announcing the speech to supporters last week, Obama said the speech would be “a chance to say thank you for this amazing journey … and to offer some thoughts on where we all go from here.”
In giving a final speech, Obama is continuing in a tradition first started by the President George Washington in 1796 and continued by many outgoing presidents since. Most recently, President George W. Bush gave a farewell speech eight years ago from the East Room of the White House.
On Monday, the White House said Obama was still deeply involved in crafting and revising the speech, which White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest described on Friday as “forward-looking” and “heartfelt.”
Earnest, who read an early draft of the speech, said the president will “briefly” discuss the accomplishments of his own administration in the speech before turning to offer his thoughts on addressing “the challenges that lie ahead.”
“Most of those solutions, in the mind of the president, rest on the deeply held values that just about every American subscribes to,” Earnest said. “The president believes that obviously, that diversity of this country is a strength.