President Barack Obama's farewell address last night was one for the record books. When he pleaded with us all to continue believing in progress — "not in my ability to bring about change, but in yours" — there wasn't a dry eye in the house, or at home, or even in Hollywood. After that speech, what could possibly be left to say? Well, one White House staffer had a few things to add — 18 things, to be precise. Jesse Lee, whose mouthful of a job title is "Special Assistant to the President and Director of Rapid Response," signed online today to announce his departure from the Twittersphere. After eight years of working for the Obama administration, he is moving on, and his official White House Twitter account ("oldest continuous WH Twitter account?" Lee wonders) is going dark. Lee thought it an appropriate moment to look back on Obama's presidency and everything that he — and we — managed to accomplish, even in the face of harrowing adversity. So, he decided to sum up eight epic years in a rapid succession of 18 perfect tweets.
"I've had the immense privilege of working in the Obama White House for eight years, which not a ton of people have," Lee told Refinery29 via email. "It's been a unique perspective on how change and progress is made, for and by the American people and in public service, something that has been both educational and profoundly inspirational for me. Sharing some all-too-brief reflections on the different ways that happened seemed like a good way to close out my online voice there." Lee's tweets chronicle such a wide range of achievements, innovations, and groundbreaking policies, they're incontestable ammunition against any accusations that Obama didn't "do enough" during his time in office.
Touching on everything from marriage equality ("sometimes, America just awakens and conquers a prejudice") to taxing for the wealthy ("progressives should keep progressing"), this inspiring tweetstorm makes one thing clear: We have a huge battle ahead of us these next four years, but we've come way too far to turn back now.