Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

DiCaprio, Hanks, Chance, Degeneres, every other famous person ever bid Obama adieu

Screenshot: YouTube

President Barack Obama has ended his presidential term with the same sense of grace and pop-cultural largesse that he entered it. This is no small feat, given that he was ushered into the office on a tide of global optimism. But he leaves with high approval ratings, a handful of major accomplishments to his name, and no scandals. Who knows how history will judge him, but right now, he’s on top.

Accordingly, he has held what seem like mythically elegant goodbye parties; he has made himself available at length for journalists to probe in these final days; he has hinted at his future gig curating music for Spotify; and now, he has released what may be his final viral video, this celebrity-laden look back at his accomplishments. Jerry Seinfeld, Chance The Rapper, Bill and Melinda Gates, Kerry Washington, Michael Jordan, Tom Hanks, a basketball player who is less good than Michael Jordan (Kobe Bryant), Samuel L. Jackson, a ton of other celebrities, and also a bunch of normal human beings all pop in to describe their most memorable moments of the Obama years.

It is not trenchant stuff—nobody has a negative memory, if you were wondering—but it’s also not entirely saccharine. Grouped together under the title “We The People,” it shows a remarkable number of genuinely thankful reactions from Americans both glisteningly famous and completely relatable toward the presidency of Barack Obama. And look: you may not be exactly emotional in the final days of the Obama presidency. But as the video sweeps through his full-haired inauguration to his gray-haired exit, through a laundry list of achievements alongside quiet, behind-the-scenes moments, it’s difficult not to be thankful for eight years of this definition of the American presidency—that is, a moral, intelligent person, doing the best they can at a difficult job.


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