When Donald J. Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States, we couldn’t help but feel gutted to see President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama go.
As President Obama waved goodbye to millions of mournful watchers upon boarding the marine helicopter, we saw the end of his presidency with that wave — not only as a formal timestamp but a symbolic gesture. It was that warm handshake and his charismatic appeal that we’ve come to love. Plus, Obama is just plain adorable.
Today’s inauguration made it clear that Trump has a legacy to follow up and big shoes to fill. Not only was Barack Obama the first African-America president of the United States — a victory that made it clear just how white and xenophobic the core of D.C. was — he left office as one of the most popular presidents in history.Among his many accomplishments, he earned the Nobel Peace Prize, ended the recession of 2008, and reformed health care.
There is so much to reflect on today. Whether it was the friendship between Obama and Vice President Joe Biden (because it seriously humanizes the look of leadership), or Obama’s continuing focus on closing the pay gap, or Michelle Obama as inspiration for women and girls, we are thankful for it.
Because let’s face it: Today was a tough pill to swallow. But not just because of the presidential successors — it’s because we’ll seriously miss the Obamas as a couple. It’s not common to see leaders so in love, so it was literally heartwarming to see actual displays of genuine affection in two people we look up to. Obama’s adorable relationship with Michelle has always been demonstrative of what we want. #Goals.
But don’t let your sadness take over. Right before flying off, Obama said,
His comments underscore a key value in the Obama presidency: hope. In a way, his goodbye suggested that yes, things are different now, but with continued work and perseverance, the American people can and will make this country into what it should be.
So what’s next for the Obamas?
And what about Malia and Sasha? Oh, they were waiting over at Joint Base Andrews, where their parents would pick them up before heading off to a post-presidency vacation on Air Force One. NBD.
We’ll miss you all so much. Have fun (and have a much-needed drink, for god’s sake).