President Barack Obama's farewell address plays on the TV at Cafe Presse.
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President Barack Obama's farewell address plays on the TV at Cafe Presse.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Caroline Chamberlain

Tears and defiance in Seattle as Obama says farewell

As President Obama gave his farewell address Tuesday night, many in Seattle mourned the end of his tenure in the White House.

Among them was Gemma O'Neil, who attended a gathering at Cafe Presse in Seattle last night. As Obama spoke about his wife, Michelle, O’Neil teared up.

She said the Obama presidency will leave a lasting impression in her life.

“It means that somebody like me or who came from a regular family can be president, and do it in just the most beautiful, graceful way.”

Christopher Nixon said he remembers listening to Obama declare his candidacy nine years ago.


“Throughout the campaign I was a little skeptical of all the talk of hope and change. What could one person or even a group of people accomplish? But now looking back on it and seeing what aspects of his presidency Obama highlighted in his speech, I see we really were able to make a difference.”

Nixon said he liked Obama’s message Tuesday night of perseverance.

“To continue working for what we think should be done in the future. Don’t give up just because of what happened on the national stage of politics. Really, it starts with individuals.”

Elise Ballard hoped this isn’t the last we hear from the outgoing president.

“I hope that Obama continues to stay involved and remains vocal and articulates what he thinks about what’s going on.”


But elsewhere, others are happy to see him go.

Craig Keller is a Trump supporter and pleased that Obama is leaving office.

“He's been an abysmal president when it comes to immigration and protecting employment for American workers and for that reason I'll be extremely glad that he ride off into the sunset. It's been a bad dream here for eight years.”

Keller said he's looking forward to seeing what a Trump presidency will bring.

Bob Brett is a Trump supporter from Olympia. He said he's grateful for the way Obama has served as president, but he's looking forward to the transition of power.


“I would just urge people to be thankful for President Obama and give president Trump a chance, see what he can do and hope for the best. We want the best for our country and our children and work towards that.”

Brett said the next four years under Trump will be far better than the past eight.

Correction 1/11/2017: Christopher Nixon was incorrectly identified.