“He achieved more than could be expected of any man,” Obama said in his live address. “We have lost one of the most influential, courageous and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with.”
Obama described how he himself had been inspired by the example set by Mandela: ”Like so many around the globe, I cannot fully imagine my own life without the example set by Nelson Mandela.”
Many other former presidents and other political leaders have been issuing a number of statements and tweets, offering their condolences to the nation of South Africa.
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick tweeted that Mandela was “an inspiring example of resilience & grace”.
Former president George H.W. Bush, the first U.S. president to welcome Mandela to the White House, released a statement saying Nelson Mandela “was a man of tremendous moral courage, who changed the course of history in his country.”
Former president Bill Clinton tweeted a picture of himself and Mandela, saying “I will never forget my friend Madiba.” He also released a statement saying that “history will remember [Mandela] as a champion for human dignity and freedom, for peace and reconciliation.”
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has ordered that flags at City Hall be lowered to half-staff to honor Mandela.