• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 50s

Reality Check w/ John Tracy: The audacity of Obama

By John Tracy 10:23 AM January 13, 2017

If Tuesday night’s address was his last to the American people, President Barack Obama left on a high note.

It was a speech that was as notable for the ideas it expressed, as much for what was left unsaid.

What could have been a litany of victories won and excuses for battles lost — surely there was a little of both — Obama exited the world stage with the same message upon which he entered it eight years ago: Hope.

At 50 minutes it was the longest farewell speech in modern history, by a long shot.

But in that 50 minutes he neither ridiculed nor belittled anybody, including his successor. Instead, he was gracious and he was inclusive.

He was, in a word, presidential.

Obama knows he will likely see some of his hardest fought initiatives overturned in the coming year. And certainly, some of his last-minute initiatives will prove a barrier to Alaska’s economic future unless they are overturned.

But beyond his policies, which are worthy of healthy debate, Barack Obama’s love of country should be recognized without challenge.

As our country’s first African American president, he shouldered expectations immeasurable to anyone not of color.

A week from Friday, America will swear in a new Commander in Chief, and we have no less hope for his success.

In some ways we’re replacing a seasoned diplomat with a street fighter, and maybe that’s what America needs right now.

Some thought we’d never survive the Obama administration, just as many don’t believe we’ll survive a Trump administration.

But we did, and we will.

That too was Barack Obama’s message Tuesday night.

It’s impossible to know how history will rank this outgoing president. But we know Barrack Obama’s America is a place where a mixed race kid from humble beginnings can have the audacity to believe he can reach the highest office in America as easily as a child of privilege.

That part of his legacy, perhaps the most important part, is now a permanent chapter of the American story.

John’s opinions are his own, and not necessarily those of Denali Media or its employees.

Latest Stories

  • News

    Crash temporarily shuts down Seward Hwy overnight

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 27, 23:37

    Last updated at 6:15 a.m. on Sunday, May 28 The Seward Highway was completely closed in both directions for about five hours overnight following a crash at mile 76 near Portage Glacier Road. The crash occurred sometime just before 11 p.m. and the road finally reopened to traffic around 4 a.m. Whittier police were first […]

  • News

    Jet owned by Elvis sold for $430,000 at auction

    by Associated Press on May 27, 19:09

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – A private jet once owned by Elvis Presley has been auctioned after sitting on a runway in New Mexico for 35 years. GWS Auctions Inc. says the plane sold for $430,000 on Saturday at a California event featuring celebrity memorabilia. The auction house says Elvis designed the interior that has gold-tone […]

  • Politics

    Judge dismisses lawsuit against Clinton by Benghazi families

    by Associated Press on May 27, 19:02

    WASHINGTON (AP) – A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit against Hillary Clinton filed by the parents of two Americans killed in the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington says the former secretary of state didn’t defame the parents when disputing allegations that she had lied. The […]

  • News

    Remains of Arkansas soldier killed in Colony Glacier plane crash returned home

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 27, 18:52

    An Arkansas National Guardsman who was killed in plane crash in Alaska 65 years ago has finally made it home. Staff Sgt. Robert Dale Van Fossen was laid to rest Saturday in Little Rock. Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson ordered flags lowered to half mast in Van Fossen’s honor. His remains were found among the wreckage of […]

  • News

    Historic planes head to Dutch Harbor to mark 75th anniversary of Aleutians battle

    by Dave Leval on May 27, 18:43

    John Pletcher’s invitation is too good to ignore — a chance for myself to get back in the sky for the first time in a while. It takes his JRF-5 Grumman Goose just seconds to take flight at Anchorage’s Merrill Field, then it’s off to Dutch Harbor, to take part in the 75th anniversary of […]

  • News

    NTSB investigating separate fatal crashes near Fairbanks, Haines

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 27, 14:46

    Last updated at 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 27 Two people are confirmed dead and one is in critical condition following a fatal plane crash near the small Southeast Alaska community of Haines. Alaska State Troopers (AST) confirmed 29-year-old David Kunat of Juneau and an unnamed adult male passenger from California were killed in the crash. Chan Valentine, […]

  • News

    Feds to gain control over Kuskokwim king salmon management

    by Associated Press on May 27, 12:55

    BETHEL, Alaska (AP) – Starting next month, the management of king salmon on a southwestern Alaska river will transfer from state control to federal. KYUK-AM reports that as of June 12, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will begin to oversee the salmon living on lower and middle Kuskokwim River. Under federal law, the switch is […]

  • Lifestyle

    Gregg Allman of The Allman Brothers Band dies at age 69

    by Associated Press on May 27, 11:53

    SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) – A publicist for rock legend Gregg Allman says the organist and singer for The Allman Brothers Band has died. He was 69. Ken Weinstein confirmed Saturday that Allman died at his home in Savannah, Georgia. Allman had cancelled some 2016 tour dates for health reasons. In March 2017, he canceled performances […]