LIVE: Barack Obama delivers his last presidential speech today

President Barack Obama plans to reaffirm in his farewell address his belief that change only happens when “ordinary people get involved, get engaged and come together to demand it.”

Obama plans to say that after eight years in the White House he still believes in the power of change. The outgoing president plans to tell supporters in the city that launched his political career that change is the “beating heart of our American idea — our bold experiment in self-government.”

Obama will note the founding fathers gave Americans the freedom to “chase our individual dreams through our sweat, toil and imagination.”


4 p.m.

President Barack Obama’s final trip aboard Air Force One as president is his 445th mission on the presidential aircraft.

Obama is flying to Chicago to give his final presidential speech. The White House says he’s traveled on the plane to 56 countries and to 49 of the 50 U.S. states. He’s visited all 50 but never flown to Maryland.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest tells reporters aboard Air Force One that prior to Tuesday’s flight, the plane had been airborne for 2,799 hours and 6 minutes during Obama’s tenure. That’s equivalent to spending 116 days on the plane.

Earnest says Air Force One is “a national treasure.” He says Obama benefited deeply from use of the plane.


3:25 p.m.

President Barack Obama is taking an array of longtime friends, staffers and relatives along for his last trip as president.

Obama boarded Air Force One for the flight to Chicago along with first lady Michelle Obama, daughter Malia and sister Auma Obama, who is from Kenya. They were joined by Obama speechwriter Cody Keenan, national security adviser Susan Rice and counterterrorism adviser Lisa Monaco.

Vice President Joe Biden and his wife are also traveling to Chicago for the speech on a separate aircraft.

The White House says that before taking off from Andrews Air Force Base, Obama attended a farewell event with members of the U.S. Air Force division that supports presidential air travel.


3 p.m.

President Barack Obama is returning to the city that launched his unlikely political career to give one final speech.

He’ll deliver a parting plea to Americans not to lose faith in their future, no matter what they think about their next president.

Obama’s speech before thousands in Chicago on Tuesday evening is his last chance to try to define what his presidency meant for America, and a fitting bookend. Chicago is where the nation’s first black president declared victory in 2008 and where he cultivated his decidedly optimistic brand of American politics.

Obama says in a video preview that he’ll be reflecting on lessons learned from his presidency, including that Americans are fundamentally good and that the democratic system responds to ordinary people pursuing a better future.

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