Barack Obama used his departing words as President Wednesday to offer an assured — if not entirely optimistic — outlook for a country governed by Donald Trump.
“At my core I think we’re going to be OK,” Obama said as he concluded his final news conference at the White House. “We just have to fight for it, work for it, and not take it for granted.”
“I know that you will help us do that,” he told reporters assembled in the White House briefing room.
If the message was still hopeful, it was a sharp downgrade from the grand visions of progressive change that propelled Obama to the presidency eight years ago.
In his question-and-answer session with reporters, Obama said that after two terms of political warfare with Republicans, he was emerging unbowed in his faith in the US and its citizens. But he continued to express concerns about his successor’s stance on Russia and his readiness for office.
“I believe in this country. I believe in the American people. I believe that people are more good than bad,” Obama said. “I believe tragic things happen. I think there’s evil in the world, but I think at the end of the day, if we work hard and if we’re true to those things in us that feel true and feel right, that the world gets a little better each time.”