Goodbye! Obama hails power of hope in farewell to staff, supporters

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Barack Obama
Barack Obama

Los Angeles : Former US President Barack Obama thanked his staff and supporters on Friday as he and his family prepared to leave Washington following the inauguration of Donald Trump.

"This has been the privilege of my life, and I know I speak for Michelle as well," EFE news quoted Obama as saying with former First Lady Michelle Obama at his side on the tarmac at Joint Base Andrews, just outside Washington.

"We look forward to continuing this journey with all of you -- and I can't wait to see what you do next, and I promise you I'll be right there with you," he said.

"I've said before, and I will say again, that when we started on this journey we did so with an abiding faith in the American people," Obama said. "And their ability -- our ability -- to join together and change the country in ways that would make life better for our kids and grandkids."

"We have been the face and the voice out front on the TV screen or on the microphone. But this has never been about us. It's been about you," he told supporters, praising them for proving "the power of hope".

Now headed to Palm Springs, California, for a vacation, the Obamas plan to continue living in Washington while their younger daughter completes secondary school.

"This is just a little pit stop. This is a -- this is not a period, this is a comma in the continuing story of building America," Obama said, before concluding: "Yes we did. Yes we can."