Chicago, one last time
The White House, Washington
Over the past eight years, I’ve been proud to stand by President Obama’s side through every step of this journey.
And tonight, I’ll be proud to stand by him one last time in Chicago with the First Lady and with Jill as he makes his farewell address to the nation.
Heading back to Chicago, I can’t help thinking about that night when the four of us were together in Grant Park. November 4, 2008.
We’d received the call conceding the race from our friend and patriot, John McCain. Barack had just finished addressing the nation for the first time as President-elect. The park was just filled with hundreds of thousands of people from all around the city and the country, of every age and background. And then, after Barack’s speech, our families joined us on stage — two families from different parts of the country, from different walks of life, but with the same values, that had grown so close over the past several months and have stayed so close over the last eight years.
And I saw my mother, Catherine Eugenia Finnegan Biden, who was 91 years old at the time, walking over to us. She really liked Barack. Always had.
And my mom reached out, grabbed Barack’s hand, and said, “It’s going to be okay, honey, come with me.” And holding both of our hands, she walks us up to the front of the stage. Barack and I look at each other. Here we go.
Together, we took that first step in our journey that has continued until today — a journey to restore our economy, rebuild the middle class, and treat everyone with dignity.
It was a feeling I’ll never forget — standing out on that stage together for the first time since the overwhelming majority of the American people placed their trust in us. I remember how the tough days on the campaign trail were nothing compared to the tough days millions of families were going through as the economy was crashing and they were losing their jobs, their homes, and their savings. I remember seeing the hope in their eyes, and being reminded that there is no quit in America.
And even though we’d go to bed exhausted every night, we’d wake up in the morning inspired by the millions of people who volunteered, organized, voted, and put every ounce of heart and hustle into something bigger than themselves. It was electric — something that this country had never seen before. At its core, it was truly a campaign about our conviction that ordinary people can do extraordinary things. That’s the history of the journey of our country.
Being asked to be part of this journey was a great honor. Barack and I and our families have formed a real and lasting bond over this incredible experience. During long hours in the Oval Office and Situation Room, during private lunches and quiet moments, I’ve seen Barack lead this country from economic crisis to recovery to resurgence. I’ve seen him lead the world not just by the example of our power, but by the power of our example.
I’ve seen a president who never forgot the core that makes us who we are as Americans — tough, resilient, but always full of hope and optimism. Just give people a fair chance and they will do extraordinary things.
Eight years later, I hope you’ll join me in Chicago as the President speaks about all we’ve accomplished on our journey as a country over the last eight years and the work that’s still ahead.
Vice President Joe Biden