How to say it? Like the Von Trapp family in The Sound of Music, in a selection of languages? If so, then it's not with the finality of adieu, but rather a cheerier au revoir to President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle, and the two first daughters. These are the people who, in 2008, inspired the world (and some Cajuns who sang "Oui on peut") with Yes We Can.
We want to see them again, and we'll need them in the coming years. Not in another Dynasty saga à la Bush or Clinton families (in any case, Michelle has ruled out running for office), and the post-Franklin Roosevelt 22nd Amendment long ago ended any possibility of more than two terms for Barack. But as living references to an America that is decent, and one that represents what the future of America can be, after it has its fling with a 70 year old spoiled rich kid for the next 4 years.
As Brussels-based Nicolas Vadot entitled his end-of-year collection of political cartoons, Barack, Tu nous manqueras! (Barack, We'll miss you!), it's going to be hard not having an intelligent, articulate gentleman in the Oval Office amidst all the chaos besetting the world. And a First Lady who is at least as intelligent, articulate, and who carved out such a special role as a presidential spouse who connected with Americans of all ages, classes, and origins. "More than a "Mom-in-Chief" is how The Guardian described what Michelle Obama achieved.
Here's a moving collage of video clips, from children to celebrities, on their "Obama Moment."
Next Friday, Inauguration Day, while the nation and the world watch the ceremony in Washington, Americans living abroad will gather for "Thank you Obama" vigils
To show support for the principles of democracy and to thank the outgoing Obama Administration and U.S. Embassy & Consular officials for their service during the past eight years, steering the country through numerous economic and geopolitical challenges, improving our foreign relations and standing in the world community.
Nice idea, and a way of stressing the positive in the face of what millions in the US and across the world see as an unmitigated disaster, the transition of PEOTUS (President-Elect) to POTUS of one Donald Trump, AKA "@realDonaldTrump" to his Twitter fans.
In 2008, I labored in Brussels as spokesman for Democrats Abroad Belgium, appearing in a number of debates, sparring with my Republican counterpart on TV and radio, for the successful campaign of Barack Obama. Ditto for the campaign of Hillary Clinton in 2016. Had Hillary's 3 million vote lead in the popular vote translated to a win (as it would have been in any country not burdened with an 18th century anachronism called the Electoral College), my "It's okay to be an American again" fridge magnet would have lost none of its shine. But I'm afraid that in the next four years (God forbid it last any longer than that!), it's going to be hunkering down time for Americans abroad. Few want to be associated with the America that allowed Mr. Trump to come anywhere near the White House.
Yes, Barack, we will indeed miss you. Stick around, please, and remain the conscience of a better America.