"Yes, our progress has been uneven," he said. "The work of democracy has always been hard, it’s always been contentious. Sometimes it’s been bloody," he added.
Obama went on to list the accomplishments of his eight-year presidency.
"If I had told you eight years ago that America would reverse a great recession, reboot our auto industry, and unleash the longest stretch of job creation in our history. If I had told you that we would open up a new chapter with the Cuban people, shut down Iran’s nuclear weapons program without firing a shot, and take out the mastermind of 9/11. If I had told you that we would win marriage equality, and secure the right to health insurance for another 20 million of our fellow citizens - you might have said our sights were set a little too high," he said.
The Democratic president is feeling some nostalgia as he prepares to leave the White House on Jan. 20 after eight years in office. His top policy achievements were jolted by the Nov. 8 election of Trump, who has threatened to undo Obama’s actions on issues ranging from advancing healthcare reform to curbing climate change.
"The future should be ours. But that potential will be realized only if our democracy works," Obama said.
First lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, his wife, Jill Biden, and many current and former White House staff members and campaign workers attended the speech.