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Barack Obama delivers emotional farewell address and praises wife Michelle for 'taking on a role she didn't ask for'

Sharnaz Shahid

Barack Obama has publically thanked his wife in an emotionally-charged speech as he addressed the nation as president for one last time. Speaking in his home city of Chicago on Tuesday, the 55-year-old credited his wife First Lady Michelle Obama for "taking on a role she didn't ask for" during his two-term presidency.

Barack, who has ended his eight-year reign in the White House, turned to his wife to say: "Michelle - for the past 25 years, you've been not only my wife and mother of my children, but my best friend. You took on a role you didn't ask for and made it your own with grace and grit and style and good humour.

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Barack Obama has publically thanked his wife in his final address as president

"You made the White House a place that belongs to everybody. And a new generation sets its sights higher because it has you as a role model. You've made me proud. You've made the country proud." The couple - who are parents to two daughters Malia, 18, and Sasha, 15 - will be moving to a beautiful home in Washington D.C. before he hands the responsibility of presidency over to Donald Trump and his wife Melania.

Turning the attention towards his children, Barack hailed the girls for growing up in the limelight with grace. He added: "Malia and Sasha, under the strangest of circumstances, you have become two amazing young women, smart and beautiful, but more importantly, kind and thoughtful and full of passion. You wore the burden of years in the spotlight so easily. Of all that I've done in my life, I'm most proud to be your dad."

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"You made the White House a place that belongs to everybody," he said

Michelle, 52, later took to her Instagram page to share a candid black and white picture of the family. In the caption, she praised her husband for everything he has managed to achieve the past few years during his presidency. "So proud of POTUS and all that we've accomplished together," she wrote. "What an incredible journey filled with remarkable people. I love you Barack. -mo‎‎."

In a recent interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Barack revealed that he and Michelle intend to stay involved in public service. "So I will continue to be very active, and Michelle is going to continue to be very active – and [on] the very thing that brought us here, which is our belief that when you work with people on the ground at a grassroots level, change happens," he explained. "When people feel disconnected from the institutions of government, they can swing back and forth in all sorts of ways."

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