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Obama: ‘Some critics thought my presidency would last only a year’

President Barack Obama delivers remarks as First lady Michelle Obama looks on during a Hanukkah reception in The East Room at The White House on December 14, 2016 in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / ZACH GIBSON

President Barack Obama delivers remarks as First lady Michelle Obama looks on during a Hanukkah reception in The East Room at The White House on December 14, 2016 in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / ZACH GIBSON

Outgoing U.S. President Barack Obama has disclosed that some people believe that he would not survive more than a year as U.S. President.

Obama disclosed this in his remarks at the 2016 Hanukkah Reception at the White House.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday commemorating the re-dedication of the Holy Temple (the Second Temple) in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire.

“I want to say how much Michelle and I appreciate the opportunities to have celebrated so many Hanukkahs with you in the White House.

“You know, at the beginning of my presidency, some critics thought it would last for only a year.

“But, miracle of miracles, it has lasted eight years.

“It’s lasted eight whole years. Nes Gadol Haya Po,” the two-term U.S. president said.

NAN reports that Hanukkah is observed for eight nights and days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, which may occur at any time from late November to late December in the Gregorian calendar.

It is also known as the Festival of Lights and the Feast of Dedication.

NAN also reports that Hanukkah 2016 will start on the evening of Saturday, Dec. 24, 2016, and will end on the evening of Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017.

Obama remarked that “as many of you know, the name ‘Hanukkah’ comes from the Hebrew word for ‘dedication’.

“So we want to thank you again for your dedication to our country, to the historic progress that we’ve made, to the defense of religious freedom in the United States and around the world.

“Today in the White House, as you will soon do in your homes, we recall Hanukkah’s many lessons: How a small group can make a big difference.

“That’s the story of the Maccabees’ unlikely military victory, and of great moral movements around the globe and across time. How a little bit can go a long way, like the small measure of oil that outlasted every expectation.

“It reminds us that even when our resources seem limited, our faith can help us make the most of what little we have.

“The small State of Israel and the relatively small Jewish population of this country have punched far above their weight in their contributions to the world. So the Festival of Lights is also a reminder of how Isaiah saw the Jewish people, as a light unto the nations.”

According to him, this is the season that we appreciate the many miracles, large and small, that have graced our lives throughout generations, and to recognise that the most meaningful among them is our freedom.

“The first chapter of the Hanukkah story was written 22 centuries ago, when rulers banned religious rituals and persecuted Jews who dared to observe their faith.

“Which is why today we are asked not only to light the menorah, but to proudly display it – to publicise the mitzvah. And that’s why we’ve invited all these reporters who are here.”

He said that everybody in America could understand the spirit of the Hanukkah tradition.

“Proudly practicing our religion, whatever it might be – and defending the rights of others to do the same – that’s our common creed.

“That’s what families from coast to coast confirm when they place their menorah in the window ‘ not to share the candles’ glow with just your family, but also with your community and with your neighbors.

“The story of Hanukkah, the story of the Jewish people, the story of perseverance – these are one and the same,” the outgoing U.S. President said.

NAN reports that Obama was inaugurated as the 44th U.S. President on Jan. 20, 2008, the only Black man in the history of U.S. to be elected president.

NAN also reports that the former Illinois senator, who still receives high popularity ratings among Americans, won re-election for the second and last term in 2012, will be out of office on Jan. 20, 2017.

In this article:
Barack Obama


6 Comments
  • TheEAGLE_EYE

    Dear Mr President, let me be sincere to you, when you became POTUS, I thought, here comes the next messiah. But, at last, you prove me unequivocally wrong through your actions and inaction. Little wonder Forbes magazine on their latest issue put you at far away No 48 in the list of most powerful people on earth. A position never heard of any serving POTUS. Nigerians are very disappointed in you.

    • Ade Adeosun

      Very trange assertion from a African to a first African American president.I guess you know nothing of your history as an african .If you ever resided in the USA as a black man you definitely will acknowledge and appreciate Mr Obama’s accomplishments. Its easy to seat on your toilet bowl with your joint in one hand and negate a great man of history.You are definitely brainwashed by the right fox news.Wake up from your high and speak for your self since you dont represent “nigerians”

      • TheEAGLE_EYE

        Mr man, I do not agree with you Sir. What was his achievements, is it gay legalization or his contribution to ouster Mammary Gadaffi of which he has confessed as his greatest mistake as POTUS. The president bragged to take action against Al Assad if he crossed the RedLin

        • Oti Oteri

          Perhaps it was the precipitous withdrawal from Iraq, just because it was the popular thing to do, which led to the birth of ISIS?

          Or wait – surely it must be the unilateral concession his administration granted Russia regarding the cancellation of the proposed missile defense system that was supposed to be built in Poland and former CIS states, which only served to embolden Russia in their quest to dominate their neighbours

          Forget about the issues of Gay and Lesbian, because those are fringe issues. Look at the condition of the Black folks in America. Moral degradation of their society, a core philosophy of the Democrats who have ruled their cities for years, even decades, has left them far worse than they have ever been, perhaps since the days of slavery.

          But sentiment runs deep. Folks will never see the truth.

        • Rommel

          Your mind is appears to be too small to understand the value of Barack Obama,the emotional pleasure it brought to Africans that one who looks like us could become the president of United states,his emergence has paved the way for your acceptance despite resistance that you could be a normal human being,previously,with such reasoning as you posses today,it is easy to see why black people were not regarded

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