-Anietie Udobit,agency reports
President Barack Obama wiped away tears when he gave his heartfelt thanks to First Lady Michelle Obama during his emotional farewell speech.
Acknowledging both the challenges and achievements of his two-term presidency, Obama concluded his speech on Tuesday night by calling Michelle a ‘role model’ for the country, as well as his ‘best friend’.
While Malia Obama looked on and cried from the front row of Chicago’s McCormick Place, younger daughter Sasha was notably missing during her dad’s big moment.
The White House later commented that the 15-year-old stayed at home in Washington DC because she had a test at school the next day.
The president acknowledged the shortcomings and challenges of his presidency, but maintained his optimism and urged people to participate in the democratic process.
Obama’s final speech took an emotional turn, however, when he thanked the first lady, who received a standing ovation in the convention center.
He said: ‘Michelle – for the past twenty-five 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 humor.’
Michelle smiled and appeared to hold back tears while Malia cried as she witnessed her parents sharing the heartfelt moment.
The president paused to wiped away a tear before he continued: ‘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, and you’ve made the country proud.’
The president went on to thank his two daughters, and said: ‘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.’
Malia, who is taking a gap year before she attends Harvard University, sat next to her mother in the front row, as
viewers took to the internet to ask why Sasha was not present.
Twitters users joked Sasha, who is still in high school at Sidwell Friends in Bethesda, Maryland, had a book report due.
The truth, it turns out, was not that far off. ‘Sasha stayed back in DC tonight because she has an exam at school in the morning,’ according to a White House official.
But the hashtag ‘#wheressasha’ had already started trending, and social media was rife with fantastical theories.
Devin Corrigan, tweeting under the handle @official_devinc, wrote: ‘You know Michelle’s the kinda mom who’s like “GROUNDED MEANS GROUNDED” #wheressasha’
Others joked that she was busy playing the game Candy Crush, or watching the TV show This is Us.
The president also thanked Vice President Joe Biden, calling him the ‘scrappy kid from Scranton who became Delaware’s favorite son’.
Obama said: ‘You were the first choice I made as a nominee, and the best.
‘Not just because you have been a great Vice President, but because in the bargain, I gained a brother.
‘We love you and Jill like family, and your friendship has been one of the great joys of our life.’