Obama Farewell Address

President Barack Obama speaks at McCormick Place in Chicago, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, giving his presidential farewell address.

Associated Press photo by Charles Rex Arbogast

Without hesitancy, I say that I will miss Barack Obama. The man is cool, funny, incredibly elegant and he is more subtle than a heartbeat you can feel without hearing.

Only a fool or liar can claim Obama lacks accomplishments. He saved the auto industry, obtained a tepid but very real global agreement on climate change, rid us of Bin Laden, the master mind of 9/11, passed a health care law that gives many more people access, signed the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” supported same sex marriages, established relations with Cuba, commuted sentences of over a thousand victims of our failed “war on drugs,” placed reasonable justices (two women) on the Supreme Court, signed the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. All done, without a hint of scandal.

However, the real power resides neither with the people nor the president, but with the polluters, the oil peddlers, the gunmakers, the insurance and drug companies, the TV people, the stockbrokers and big bankers. We citizens need to change that.

No, Obama is not perfect; none of us are.

And yes, there’s more I wish he’d done. Yet, perhaps, his biggest lack is the reluctance to toot his own horn, leaving many ignorant of his contributions — the greatest one being the reaffirmation of our belief in a fair, just and inclusive America.

Jean Sellmeyer Smith