We weren't able to hear all of the President's farewell address last night. What we did hear was a speech very similar to others he has made in the past: some good points, some very biased/almost racist points, some very divisive points, some practical advice, and a loving tribute to his family.
Even though I fall on the opposite spectrum of the President's political viewpoints, there are things I do appreciate about him and his family. For starters, he has always talked about personal responsibility. It might not be in the same way my family presented it growing up, but the theme has resounded throughout his eight years in office. Don't like something? Get involved to change it. (And the double irony here is that people have done just that, and many of his policies are "depend on the government not on yourself"). I've also appreciated many of the statements Michelle Obama made in her speeches, with "When they go low, we go high." being one of my favorites. Yet another comment that my parents would have stated, though in different words.
I've also appreciated their family life. From the early start of the election years, their girls have dressed age appropriately. You don't see them hiding or slouching behind garment bags or secret service agents. Their parents have done a great job of shielding them from too much press, allowing them to lead as normal a life as possible. I LOVE that Mrs. Robinson moved to DC with the family to look after the girls while they were growing up. Who better than Grandma to love, discipline, and train when parents are busy fulfilling job demands?
I've found it ironic that many conservatives who stress family values have been so critical of the Obama administration. Yes, they don't share all of our values, but they have stressed family (with the exception of the time the President took a potshot at non-working Moms), and have mostly lived out an example of modesty, both in dress and lifestyle.
These are virtues that I'm going to miss greatly when the new first family finally moves into the White House. I wish the Obamas well, and commend them for the areas where they have been a good example to our nation.