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In his farewell address Tuesday night in Chicago, President Obama’s most poignant moments were touching thank yous to his wife and daughters.

In the same city where Michelle Obama was born, raised and met her husband, the president drew one of the biggest roars of the night for his extended tribute to the first lady.

“Michelle LeVaughn Robinson, girl of the South Side,” said an emotional Obama, “for the past 25 years, you’ve been not only my wife and mother of my children, you have been my best friend. You took on a role you didn’t ask for and you made it your own with grace and grit and style, and good humor. You made the White House a place that belongs to everybody. And a new generation sets its sights higher because it has you as a role model. You’ve made me proud. You’ve made the country proud.”

Michelle sat in the front row as the McCormick Place crowd around her roared, standing for an extended ovation and repeatedly interrupting the speech. One of the appreciative audience members was Malia Obama, who was seated next to her mother and was wiping away tears as her father spoke. The president then turned his attention to his daughters.

“Malia and Sasha,” continued the president, “under the strangest of circumstances, you have become two amazing young women, you are smart and beautiful, but more importantly, kind and thoughtful and full of passion. You wore the burden of years in the spotlight so easily. Of all that I’ve done in my life, I’m most proud to be your dad.”

Sasha Obama did not make the trip to Chicago due to an exam in Washington on Wednesday morning. Michelle sat next to Malia, arm around her shoulder, eyes beginning to water as her husband addressed their children.

Obama saved one more personal tribute for his running mate and vice president of eight years, toasting Joe Biden, who was sitting with his wife, Jill, next to the first family.

“To Joe Biden,” said the president, wiping at a tear on his right eye, “the scrappy kid from Scranton who became Delaware’s favorite son: You were the first choice I made as a nominee, and the best. Not just because you have been a great vice president, but because in the bargain I gained a brother. We love you and Jill like family, and your friendship has been one of the great joys of our lives.”

Biden responded with a finger point and wink.
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