EXECUTIVE

Obama bids farewell to staff, returns to civilian life

The former president makes remarks at Joint Base Andrews

 

President Obama bid farewell to supporters and staff members Friday at Andrews Air Force Base, as the former commander-in-chief returns to civilian life.

Obama -- speaking shortly after his successor, Donald Trump, was sworn into office -- called the presidency "the privilege of my life" and thanked the supporters who formed his 2008 grassroots campaign that put the former Illinois senator into the White House. 

"You knocked on doors ... You talked to your parents who didn’t know how to pronounce Barack Obama ... You went into communities that maybe you never even thought about visiting," Obama said in brief remarks.

"That doesn’t end. This is just a – just a little pit stop. This
is not a period, this is a comma -- the continuing story of building America," he said, as the crowd loudly applauded.

"We look forward to contining this journey with all of you and I can't wait to see what you do next. And I promise to be there with all of you," he said.

Following Trump's inauguration, the Obamas took a Marine helicopter to Joint Base Andrews, where Obama delivered his remarks before boarding a presidential plane to Palm Springs, Calif., for a family vacation.

In a video released earlier by her husband's presidential foundation, former first lady Michelle Obama said, "First, we're going to take a little break."

"We're finally going to get some sleep and take some time to be with our family, and just be still for a little bit. So we might not be online quite as much as you're used to seeing us," she said. 

Obama said in the video that, after the family's vacation, he will return to work on his legacy project, The Barack Obama Presidential Center in Chicago.

"More than a library or a museum, it will be a living, working center for citizenship," he said.

FoxNews.com's Cristina Corbin contributed to this report.