Chicago, Jan 11, 2017: Outgoing US President Barack Obama’s elder daughter Malia was moved to tears as her father dedicated several minutes of his farewell address here to thank his wife Michelle Obama for her contribution as the First Lady.
Malia, who sat next to her mother, was seen with moist eyes as an emotional POTUS called Michelle his “best friend”.
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The First Lady received a standing ovation from the 20,000 strong crowd in Obama’s adoptive city of Chicago, and a visibly overwhelmed President was seen wiping away tears when he addressed his wife as “girl of the south side”.
“For the past 25 years, you’ve been not only my wife and mother of my children, but my best friend.”
“You took on a role you didn’t ask for and made it your own with grace and grit and style and good humour,” he told Michelle.
“You made the White House a place that belongs to everybody. You’ve made me proud. You’ve made the country proud,” he continued.
Turning to his children, the “proud dad” said: “Malia and Sasha, under the strangest of circumstances, you have become two amazing young women.
“You are smart and beautiful, but more importantly, you are kind and you are thoughtful, and you are full of passion. And you wore the burden of years in the spotlight so easily. Of all that I have done in my life, I am most proud to be your dad.”
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At 15, Sasha has spent over half of her life in the White House, while at 18, Malia has spent a little under half her life living in the spotlight that the first family endures. (IANS)
Barbara Bush, the matriarch of a Republican political dynasty and a former First Lady who elevated the cause of literacy, has died at the age of 92, media reports said.
“A former First Lady of the United States of America and relentless proponent of family literacy, Barbara Pierce Bush passed away on Tuesday at the age of 92,” family spokesman Jim McGrath said in a statement.
Barbara Bush is survived by her husband former President George H.W. Bush; sons George W., Neil, Marvin and Jeb; daughter, Dorothy Bush Koch; and 17 grandchildren.
On Sunday, her husband’s office issued a statement saying that after consulting the family and her doctors, Barbara Bush had “decided not to seek additional medical treatment and will instead focus on comfort care”, reports The New York Times.
The Bushes had celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary in January, making them the longest-married couple in presidential history.
Only the second woman in American history to have had a husband and a son elected President (Abigail Adams was the first), Barbara Bush was seen as a plainspoken public figure who was instantly recognisable with her signature white hair and pearl necklaces and earrings, reports CNN.
She became a major political figure as her husband rose to become first a Vice President (January 20, 1981 – January 20, 1989) and then the 41st US President (January 20, 1989 – January 20, 1993).
He left office in 1993 after losing a re-election bid to Bill Clinton.
After they left the White House, she was a potent spokeswoman for two of her sons — George W. and Jeb — as they campaigned for office.
The mother of six children — one of whom, a daughter, Robin, died as a child from leukemia — Barbara Bush raised her fast-growing family in the 1950s and ’60s amid the post-war boom of Texas and the whirl of politics that consumed her husband.
Barbara Pierce was born on June 8, 1925, in New York and raised in the upscale town of Rye, CNN reported.
She attended a prestigious boarding school in South Carolina, where she met her future husband at a school dance when she was only 16 and he was a year older.
A year and a half and countless love letters later, the two were engaged just before George H. W. Bush enlisted in the Navy and went off to fight in the World War II.
Barbara Bush adopted literacy as a cause, raising awareness and eventually launching the non-profit Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy.