Barack Obama wiped away a tear as he started talking about the first lady during Tuesday’s farewell address — and then things got real emotional.
“Michelle LaVaughn Robinson, girl of the south side, for the past 25 years, you’ve been not only my wife and mother of my children, you have been my best friend,” Obama said toward the end of his speech from Chicago.
“You took on a role you didn’t ask for and made it your own with grace and grit and style and good humor,” he continued. “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 Obama got a standing ovation of her own as her husband obviously struggled not to start bawling in the middle of his speech. He twisted his mouth and pursed his lips. He paused. He wiped his eyes a couple times.
Then the president’s speech moved onto his daughters.
“Malia and Sasha, under the strangest of circumstances, you have become two amazing young women, smart and beautiful, but more importantly, kind and thoughtful and full of passion,” Obama said. “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.”
Malia wiped away tears while Sasha was away from the cameras, reportedly working on a report (it’s a school night, ya know).
Obama then turned to Vice President Joe Biden, whom he called a “brother.”
“To Joe Biden, the scrappy kid from Scranton who became Delaware’s favorite son: You were the first choice I made as a nominee, and the best,” Obama said. “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 life.”
Obama mostly held it together despite the gravity of the moment, but it’s safe to say he made a whole lot of viewers ugly-cry into their couch cushions.