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Obama says his goodbye with a plea for Americans to stay committed to democracy

Michael A. Memoli and Michael A. Memoli, Tribune Washington Bureau on

Published in News & Features

After he leaves office, he plans to take time to "quiet" himself and contemplate the last eight years, said Valerie Jarrett, the president's longtime adviser and family friend. He wants to give Trump space to operate and won't comment on relatively small developments, friends say.

He wants to give Trump "room to do his homework," Jarrett said.

At the same time, Obama is aware that he can command attention when the moment is right. And if some development troubles him, he may speak out, he has said. For now, though, he hopes to leave a message of hope as he walks off the world stage.

It's time for the "passing of the baton," said Jen Psaki, the White House communications director.

(Parsons reported from Chicago and Memoli from Washington.)

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