Pres. Obama addresses nation one last time before leaving office - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Pres. Obama addresses nation one last time before leaving office

(Source: KFVS) (Source: KFVS)
(KFVS) -

As President Obama prepares to leave office, the southern Illinois community bids their own farewell.

At 8 p.m. Tuesday, President Barack Obama spoke in Chicago, Illinois, sharing his thoughts on the past eight years in office and the future of the country.

He gave his farewell speech at McCormack Place.

Democratic officials in attendance included Vice President Joe Biden and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Sheila Simon, daughter of late Senator Paul Simon, took a moment to reflect on the president’s legacy as well as her dad's memories.

“I am a big fan of the president's and have been for a long time," Simon said. ”He would be sad that the president is leaving office  but he would have been thrilled because he had such admiration for then state senator Obama… Dad's test of other political figures -- are they willing to stand up and do the right thing even when it’s not popular…”

Simon is currently a law professor at Southern Illinois University. She met President Obama back when he was campaigning for United States Senator. She recalled a time riding around with him in central and southern Illinois. She mentioned this speech he gave to two very different audiences – one predominantly African American in Venice, IL and another predominantly Caucasian in Edwardsville, IL.

“Here’s a guy who could change – he could make himself different to different audiences and he stuck to who he was no matter who he was speaking to and that really impressed me.”

Simon describes him in three words: ethical, historical and inspirational.

“I don’t think there has been a single person who has had to resign because of ethical conflicts, who’s  indicted by federal prosecutors..he set a really high standard.”

Dr.John Jackson has been teaching political science at Southern Illinois University for 40 years has seen a lot of presidents.

“The first president I remember was Harry Truman.”

But in his political expert and as a part of nonpartisan think tank had positive things to say about Obama, as well.  

“I think Obama will always have a unique place in history…I think he will have a place in history that is much respected and Illinois can take some pride in the Obama's Presidency.”

Jackson said that President Obama is going out with “real style”, a style America can never forget.

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