There’s nothing ‘unusual’ about a farewell address — and if history is a guide it may offer important warnings.
A recent Wall Street Journal article tried to cast Barack Obama’s upcoming farewell address as abnormal – calling it ‘unusual for an outgoing president’.
It was an astonishing contortion aimed at normalizing the already extraordinary presidency of Donald Trump.
As many commentators have observed- given that George Washington began the tradition of giving a farewell speech and all presidents since World War II except John F. Kennedy (for obvious reasons) have followed it.
Even Richard Nixon – resigning in disgrace – gave two farewell speeches:
It’s perfectly normal for presidents to speak to the nation one last time – before they rejoin the ranks of fellow citizens.
Somehow the Journal doesn’t think so: