Obama Leaves a Message to His Daughters and Next Generation At Final Press Conference

On Wednesday, at Obama's final press conference, reporter Christi Parsons from the Tribune's Washington bureau asked a personal question: how he and first lady Michelle Obama explained the election results to their daughters, Malia and Sasha.

Admitting their disappointment paralleled to that of their parents, President Obama addressed the values that they have adopted from he and Michelle and his optimism for the future.

"But what we've also tried to teach them is resilience and we've tried to teach them hope and that the only thing that is the end of the world is the end of the world. And so you get knocked down, you get up, brush yourself off and you get back to work — and that tended to be their attitude."

Leaving this heartfelt message to his girls and the next generation to keep fighting for a greater America, he continued:

“But both of them have grown up in an environment where I think they could not help but be patriotic — to love this country deeply. To see that it's flawed but see that they have responsibilities to fix it and that they need to be active citizens and they have to be in a position to talk to their friends and their teachers and their future co-workers in ways that try to shed some light as opposed to just generate a lot of sound and fury.

And I expect that’s what they're going to do. They do not — they don't mope. And what I really am proud of them — what makes me proudest about them is that they also don’t get cynical about it.

They have not assumed that because their side did not win or because some of the values they care about don't seem as if they were vindicated that automatically America has somehow rejected them or rejected their values or — I don't think they feel that way.

I think they have part through osmosis and part through dinner time conversations appreciated the fact that this is a big complicated country and democracy is messy and it doesn't always work exactly the way you might want. It doesn’t guarantee certain outcomes, but if you’re engaged and you’re involved then there are a lot more good people than bad in this country and there’s a court decency to this country and that they got to be a part of lifting that up — and I expect they will be.

In that sense they are representative of this generation that makes me really optimistic."

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