Obamas launch The Foundation after exiting White House

Washington, Jan 21 (IANS) As Michelle and Barack Obama left the White House with the highest ratings ever, they unveiled The Obama Foundation, that aims to facilitate projects “all over the city, the country and the world”.

In a video, the Obamas asked viewers to help shape the Foundation by contributing suggestions via the site’s “Your Voice” section.

“After eight years in the White House, Michelle and I now rejoin all of you as private citizens,” Obama said. “We want to thank you once again from the bottom of our hearts for giving us the incredible privilege of serving this country that we love.”

The new website, Obama.org. was created by the Obama Foundation, which is overseeing the creation of the Barack Obama Presidential Center in Chicago, and its stated mission is to provide a forum for those looking to work with the Center to improve the lives of American citizens.

“The center will be based on the South Side of Chicago, but it will have projects all over the city, the country, and the world,” said Obama in the site’s announcement video. “More than a library or a museum, it will be a living, working center for citizenship. That’s why we want to hear from you.”

On Thursday, hundreds of supporters gathered in Washington, D.C. to pay tribute to the outgoing commander in chief at an event titled Thanks Obama. Fans also used social media to honour Obama and his legacy, including his landmark health care legislation and his support of same-sex marriage.

As Obama passed the torch to Donald Trump, The Harris Poll took a final look at America’s feelings towards his time in office. For the first time since August 2009, just over half of Americans rate Barack Obama as President positively.

According to the poll, 51 per cent of adults say that Obama as President was doing an excellent or pretty good job overall. This new rating was significantly higher than the 44 per cent who felt positively in September/October of 2016, the last time this question was asked, said the Santa Monica Observer.

On Thursday, a rousing crowd pleaded for more at the last public platform from the 44th US President as he joked: “Michelle and I have milked this farewell to far”. Now everyone wants to know what would the most popular couple of the last decade wish to do next.

Obama was back on his original twitter handle @BarackObama, where he is described as “Dad, husband, President, citizen”.

His first tweet on the handle minutes before the smooth ‘power transfer’ he promised to his successor, read: “Hi everybody! Back to the original handle. Is this thing still on? Michelle and I are off on a quick vacation, then we’ll get back to work. “

He also uploaded a quick video detailing a bit of the future plans of the Obama Foundation. “In the meantime, I want to hear what you’re thinking about the road ahead. So share your ideas with me…”

“We want to thank u again from the bottom of our heart for giving us the privilege to serving you and this country that we love,” Obama said.

He said he wished to share what they were upto next.

Sitting beside him, the former First lady Michelle said: “First we are going to take a little break..We are finally going to get some sleep and get some time to be with our family…and just be still for a little while.”

The Obamas are in Palm Springs, California, for a vacation, they plan to continue living in Washington while their younger daughter Sasha completes secondary school.

So they said they might not be as much online as people were used to seeing them.

On the old original twitter handle that Obama joined in 2007, he also said: “We want to invite you to a project we are excited about to work on, help us.”

They asked people to check out the website for the future presidential site.

Michelle said: “Send us your hopes, beliefs, ideas about what we can achieve together…tell us about the young leaders, companies and organisation that inspire you. This will be your presidential centre just as much as ours so we want you to tell us what we should be thinking about as we get to work.”

Obama added: “It will take all of us — you and your ideas to make it a reality.”

He said: “We have said many times before, through democracy is a project that is bigger than any one of us, anyone person, president or government.”

“Its a job for all of us which require every day’s sustained effort from all of us.”

“The work of perfecting our union is never finished. We look forward to joining you as our fellow citizens,” Obama said.

They signed off with the promise to see all soon!

–IANS

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