US President Barack Obama will draw an implicit contrast with his successor in his farewell address this afternoon, acknowledging that despite his historic election eight years ago his vision for the country will exit the White House with him.

The President will make a final appeal from his adopted hometown of Chicago for the American people to embrace inclusiveness and to preserve his legacy before his successor is inaugurated on January 21 NZT.

Thousands of Chicagoans lined up in single-digit temperatures over the weekend in hopes of scoring tickets to the speech. A sizable contingent of current and former Obama staffers will travel to the city for the remarks, and the President is expected to attend a gathering of Administration alumni in conjunction with the event. Some of Obama's staffers have already been drafted from the White House, and the Chicago address will be their final chance to see the President before he departs office.