Obama calls for unity on last Thanksgiving in office

Washington: US President Barack Obama on Thursday asked Americans to reflect on what really unites them after a “noisy, passionate and sometimes divisive” election campaign in his last Thanksgiving Day message from the White House.

In his remarks, broadcast via radio and the Internet, Obama wished the public a Happy Thanksgiving, saying that today he will enjoy the day just like everybody else: eating turkey with his family.

“As a country, we’ve just emerged from a noisy, passionate, and sometimes divisive campaign season. After all, elections are often where we emphasise what sets us apart. … But a few short weeks later, Thanksgiving reminds us that no matter our differences, we are still one people, part of something bigger than ourselves,” EFE news quoted Obama as saying.

Since Donald Trump’s election victory, Obama has made clear that his main objective is for the White House transition of power to be performed calmly and without complications, and he wished the President-elect “success” because, in his opinion, if he succeeds, then the United States will also do well.

Trump, meanwhile, has been at his Mar-a-Lago hotel in Palm Beach, Florida, since Tuesday to enjoy the holiday with his family, according to one of his spokespeople.

On Wednesday, the presidential transition office released a video in which Trump issued a call to overcome the divisions that erupted during the election campaign and combine efforts to “rebuild” the country.

“It’s my prayer that on this Thanksgiving we begin to heal our divisions and move forward as one country, strengthened by a shared purpose and very, very common resolve,” Trump said.

“We’ve just finished a long and bruising political campaign. Emotions are raw and tensions just don’t heal overnight. … But we have before us, the chance now to make history together … but to succeed, we must enlist the effort of our entire nation,” he said.

“When America is unified, there is nothing beyond our reach … Let us give thanks for all that we have, and let us boldly face the exciting new frontiers that lie ahead,” Trump emphasised.