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#ThanksObama: America Shows Love for Former President Online, on Street

by Adam Howard /  / Updated 
Former president Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama listen during the national anthem during inauguration ceremonies swearing in Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States on the West front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, on Jan. 20, 2017.Carlos Barria / Reuters

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On the same day that businessman Donald Trump officially assumed the presidency, a weeks-long outpouring of appreciation for the outgoing president — Barack Obama — culminated with the hashtag #ThankYouObamas ranking among the biggest trending topics on Twitter.

In the months leading up to last November's general election, President Obama's approval ratings began to soar, and with Trump's (somewhat) surprise victory and the backlash from the left that has followed, the 44th commander-in-chief's stock has risen even more with many voters expressing a new found appreciation for his agenda and achievements.

Related: Obama Addresses Farewell Gathering Before Last Flight From Joint Base Andrews

The phrase "Thanks Obama," which began at nearly the beginning of his presidency as a snarky rebuke from conservatives and later evolved into a sarcastic meme, has now morphed yet again into a rallying cry for progressives who lament the end of his presidency, appreciate the work he did, and a fear the almost certain change that will come with a Trump administration.

Related: Obama’s Legacy on Judicial Appointments, By the Numbers

Not only has "Thanks Obama" inspired its own Twitter account, but it has appeared in on signs at pro-Obama and Affordable Care Act events (like one that occurred outside the White House on Thursday), as well as a bevy of social media posts from both prominent and average Americans.

Among the attributes and sentiments that have been shared are:

An appreciation for his temperament.

Highlights of his legislative successes.

Contrasts with the incoming commander-in-chief.

An outpouring of affection for the outgoing first family.

And who can forget all the adorable photos of Obama and children from the past eight years?

As the nation watches another peaceful transfer of power, Obama can take comfort in the fact that in addition to his formidable approval rating, he will be leaving the White House with a lot of fans lamenting his departure and celebrating his legacy.

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