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Rahm Thanks Obama in Video Posted Before Farewell Address

By Heather Cherone | January 10, 2017 3:30pm
 President Obama arrived at O'Hare Airport in 2012 to vote early and is joined by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
President Obama arrived at O'Hare Airport in 2012 to vote early and is joined by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
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Chicago Mayor's Office

CHICAGO — Mayor Rahm Emanuel thanked President Barack Obama for his "dedication to this country" hours before the president was set to return home to deliver his farewell address at McCormick Place.

Emanuel — who served as the president's first White House chief of staff — said he looked forward to Obama building his presidential library in Chicago.

In the minute-long video, Emanuel spoke while framed by American and Chicago flags and as pictures of him with the president flashed through Obama's eight years in office.

However, Emanuel urged those preparing for the speech not to be swept up in "nostalgia about the past" but to listen with "optimism and hope about the future."

"Our work of keeping the dream of America and the promise of America is just beginning," Emanuel said. "We all have in this great country have a responsibility each day to take America a step closer to its ideal of what it can be and the promise of America."

Obama administration officials have told reporters in advance of the speech that it will serve as a call to action for the next generation of politicians and community leaders.

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