WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) — Former President Barack Obama departed Washington Friday, thanking his supporters before leaving for a vacation in California.

Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama took a helicopter from the Capitol to Joint Base Andrews in Maryland following President Donald Trump’s inauguration.

The former president told supporters that over the past 8 years they had ‘proved the power of hope.’

”Throughout it was infused with a sense of hope,” the former president said, “It wasn’t naiveté, it wasn’t willful ignorance to all of the challenges that America faces. It was hope in the face of difficulty. It was hope in the face of uncertainty. You proved the power of hope.”

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The outgoing president said he and his wife have sometimes been the “voice out front” but his push for changes in the country that began with his 2008 presidential campaign “has never been about us. It has always been about you.”

“This has been the privilege of my life and I know I speak for Michelle as well,” Obama told supporters. “And we look forward to continuing this journey with all of you and I can’t wait to see what you do next and I promise I will be right there with you.”

After their vacation, the Obamas will return to Washington where they will live while their youngest daughter will finish school.

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