Just How Long Obama's Farewell Speech Ran Compared to Predecessors Speaks Volumes About His Presidency

President Obama Delivers Farewell Address In Chicago
Getty - Darren Hauck/Stringer
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You can take the man out of Chicago, but you can't take the Chicago out of the man. President Barack Hussein Obama was born with the gift of gab, and he showcased his strongest attribute in a stemwinder of a presidential farewell speech.

Some attendees reportedly paid thousands for free tickets to come and see the man whose speeches rank amongst the likes of Cicero's and Churchill. His memorable turns of phrases over the course of his presidency are too many to count... so, we will dispense with all need to actually recall them.

The president with a propensity for verbosity spoke for over fifty minutes Tuesday night.

Obama is a grandiloquent speaker, but witnessing him give a speech is like watching a two-and-half hour film that could have been chopped to an hour-and-a-half in edits. His Chicago speech was The Revenant of presidential farewell speeches. It shared similar qualities with Lincoln; the film, not the presidency.

So, just how does President Obama stack up to his recent predecessors?

Just like you'd think: Over twice as long as his nearest rival—Ronald Reagan. The Washington Examiner tracked it down to the second:

Clinton spoke for 7 minutes, 25 seconds; Reagan spoke for 20 minutes, 42 seconds; and George W. Bush spoke for 13 minutes, 7 seconds. Obama spoke for 51 minutes, 10 seconds, nearly 10 minutes longer that the other three put together.

Obama also broke from the tradition of delivering his final speech from the White House. Clinton and Reagan both spoke from the Oval Office, and George W. Bush spoke in front of a small audience in the White House East Room; the Obama administration distributed public tickets for his speech at the McCormick Place convention center in Chicago.

The Washington Examiner also showed what that looks like with a handy graph:

What does this say about President Obama? Just leveraging his strongest asset, his gift of oration? Or a craving for public appreciation?

Similar to his recent letter to the American people arguing his achievements in office, the president devoted time attempting to persuade his doubters that his tenure was not all-that-bad.

On terrorism, he touted his administration's track record of preventing foreign terror attacks, despite having allowed numerous attacks from residents swearing loyalty to ISIS and other jihadist outfits.

Although more people were dissatisfied during his administration than under any other's since the latter half of George H.W. Bush's tenure, he touted his gains:

Regardless, the president is going out on a high note: His fifty-six percent job approval is the highest for several years.

One wonders if at least part of this number reflects Americans choosing to remember the good that took place under his presidency—or at least, they are grateful to have survived it.

View Comments(5 comments)
EdwWow, it this a slanted piece of vitriol pretending to be journalistic "reporting" and pandering to Trumpites by any standards.  Love to see what this opinion spouter would make of the garbled, egotistical, misspelt and erronious Trumpisms filled with invective and sleezy inuendos that we are treated to almost daily.    
Kathie WheelerI thought he would speak longer than most presidents.  I did not mind. Did he beat Andrew Jackson in amount of words, I wonder?  I have no explanation why he spoke that long.  It was a defining moment to have our first black president, maybe that is why he spoke so long.  Maybe he needed that, giving out free tickets, an affirmation as a Black President that he did quite well.  No clue.  I watched the First Lady too on Oprah, it was good.  But now she is going on all those late night shows and they are all fawning over her.  She is too smart, she knows the reason why these white liberals on the late shows are doing that.  Did they do that with Laura Bush?  I don't remember.  Well anyway I hope some day in our country another Black, Brown, Yellow, Red president will realize they don't need the liberal press and Hollywood to affirm their achievements.   There was alot of pressure on Obama being a first, it was just unfortunate that the liberal press and Hollywood had to be there front and center when the rest of us could have done nicely without them.    If they could have just been journalist and actors while Obama was president, I would have enjoyed his presidency so much more.
James Madison WoodIf you really believe all the shit on here I got to brighe to sell you one in New York  and the other In L.A 5000 each