Wednesday marked one of President Obama’s final days in office — a day in which he chose to share just under an hour with the White House Press Corps that has covered him for the last eight years. As we continue to celebrate his legacy and the unforgettable mark he left as Commander-in-Chief, here are things President Obama’s final press conferece
When he threatened to wear a tan suit: The President joked that he had planned to where a tan suit to the his final press conference, an ode to that time in 2014 he wore one, and the internet lost its mind!
“Let me start off by saying that I was sorely tempted to wear a tan suit today for my last press conference,” he said to a laughing press corps. “But Michelle, whose fashion sense is a little better than mine, tells me that’s not appropriate in January.”
When he thanked the press and urged them to stay vigilant: Obama spent sometime thanking the press for their work during his eight years in office, even though there were moments he did not necessarily like the things they wrote about him.
“…But you’re supposed to cast a critical eye on folks who hold enormous power and make sure that we are accountable to the people who sent us here, and you have done that,” he said.
He also spoke subtly to the rumors that Trump’s administration was contemplating moving the White House press corp out of the building.
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“And having you in this building has made this place work better,” he said. “It keeps us honest, it makes us work harder. You have made us think about how we are doing what we do and whether or not we’re able to deliver on what’s been requested by our constituents.”
When he defended his choice to commute Chelsea Manning’s sentence: the outgoing president addressed concerns that releasing Manning after six years in prison might send the message that leaking military and diplomatic documents will be met with light punishment.
“…Chelsea Manning has served a tough prison sentence, so the notion that the average person who was thinking about disclosing vital classified information would think that it goes unpunished I don’t think would get that impression from the sentence that Chelsea Manning has served,” Obama said.
When he reiterated that family-time will be a big part of his post-election plans: Though he has spoken often of his plans after the presidency, Obama reiterated that family will play a big role:
“…It’s important for me to take some time to process this amazing experience that we’ve gone through; to make sure that my wife, with whom I will be celebrating a 25th anniversary this year, is willing to re-up and put up with me for a little bit longer,” he said. “I want to spend precious time with my girls,” he added, including doing some reading and writing.
When he confirmed plans to attend the inauguration: Obama refused to comment on the over two dozen congressmen that will boycott Trump’s inauguration this week following the President-Elect’s dust-up with Rep. John Lewis over the weekend. But he did confirm he will be there.
“All I know is I’m going to be there. So is Michelle,” he said. “And I have been checking the weather and I’m heartened by the fact that it won’t be as cold as my first inauguration.”
He believes there will be more presidents of color to follow him: Obama will always be credited as the country’s first black and of color president. But are we likely to see that happen again?
Obama said he thinks so, because merit and the best will always rise to the top.
“…If in fact we continue to keep opportunity open to everybody, then yeah, we’re going to have a woman president. We’re going to have a Latino president. And we’ll have a Jewish president, a Hindu president. You know, who knows who we’re going to have.”
He added: “I suspect we’ll have a whole bunch of mixed up presidents at some point that nobody really knows what to call them.”
But you will always be the first, Obama. Thank you for your service.