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Part victory lap, part civics lesson, part pep talk, the valedictory address was President Obama at his finest.

President Barack Obama delivered his farewell speech to the nation in Chicago Tuesday night, and it’s safe to say that the nation — or at least more than half of it — was made verklempt. Powerful, thoughtful and, despite everything that’s happened in recent months, inspiring, it was a valedictory address that made the quixotic chant of “Four more years!” that resounded throughout the arena at one point easily understandable.

The president has been a study in grace since the election, especially as contrasted to you-know-who, who despite his victory has mostly concentrated on spewing endless Twitter rants against enemies both real and imagined. Obama’s speech was a potent reminder of the eloquent oratory of which we’ll be deprived in the coming years, as opposed to the grade-school-level rhetoric and school-yard taunts that will soon (shudder) be emanating from the Oval Office.

From the beginning, it was easy to tell that this wasn’t a Donald Trump rally, since the crowd actually included people of color, and nobody was wearing silly hats. Upon coming onto the stage, Obama received such a rapturous reception that he had to chide the audience to sit down.

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