Obama to say goodbye in last presidential speech

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District of Columbia: Barack Obama closes the book on his presidency, with a farewell speech in Chicago that will try to lift supporters felled by Donald Trump`s shock victory.
Obama`s last trip on Air Force One will be a pilgrimage to his adoptive hometown, where he will address a sell-out crowd not far from where he accepted the presidency eight years ago.
Diehard fans -- many African Americans -- have braved Chicago`s frigid winter to collect free tickets, which now sell for upwards of $1,000 a piece on Craigslist.
The First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden will come along on for the ride.
Obama`s cross-country trek would be a sentimental trip down memory lane, were it not slap-bang in the middle of a tumultuous presidential handover.
Trump has smashed conventions, vowed to efface Obama`s legacy and hurled personal insults left and right.
The 2016 election campaign has raised serious questions about the resilience of US democracy.
In a virtually unprecedented move, US intelligence has accused the Kremlin of tipping the electoral scales in Trump`s favor.
Democrats, cast into the political wilderness with the loss of the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives plus a majority of statehouses, are struggling to regroup.
With an approval rating hovering around 55 percent, Obama will hope to steel them for new battles ahead.
Lead speechwriter Cody Keenan said the address will be about Obama`s vision for where the country should still go.
"It`s not going to be like an anti-Trump speech, it`s not going to be a red meat, rabble-rousing thing, it will be statesman-like but it will also be true to him," Keenan told AFP. "It will tell a story."
Trump`s unorthodox politics has thrown 55-year-old Obama`s transition and post-presidency plans into flux.
Obama, having vowed a smooth handover of power, finds himself being increasingly critical of Trump as he prepares to leave office on January 20.

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