The former first lady, the only speaker on more than two hours of programming who seemed perfectly at ease with the convention’s unprecedented all-digital format, delivered a powerful indictment of President Donald Trump’s presidency as unworthy of one of the toughest times in America. history, calling the president a failure “not only on questions of politics but on questions of character”.
“Donald Trump is not the right president for our country. He’s had more than enough time to prove he can do the job, but he’s clearly over his head, ”Obama said in pre-recorded remarks that closed the first night of the convention. “He just can’t be the one we need for us. It is what it is. ”
Obama admitted that it had become more difficult to defend his famous speech at the 2016 convention in recent years, as voters asked him if the idea that “when they go down, we go high” has its place in the Trump era.
“Going high is the only thing that works, because when we come down low, when we use these same tactics of degrading and dehumanizing others, we just become part of the horrible noise that drowns out everything else,” Obama said. “But let’s be clear: Going high doesn’t mean smiling and saying nice things in the face of wickedness and cruelty. Going high means taking the most difficult path. It means scratching and clawing our way to that mountain top. Going high means being fierce against hate while remembering that we are one nation, under God, and if we are to survive we have to find a way to live together and work together through our differences.
The former first lady, one of the Democratic Party’s most powerful surrogates, only mentioned Trump by name once in her speech, but made an explicit contrast between the “downright infuriating” man who ‘she believes she is “over his head” and the man seeking to replace him in the White House.
“Joe is not perfect, and he would be the first to tell you that,” Obama said of former Vice President Joe Biden. “But there is no perfect candidate, no perfect president. And his ability to learn and grow – in that we find the kind of humility and maturity that so many of us crave right now.
Obama, wearing a charm necklace that spelled out the word “VOTE,” made the evening’s most explicit call for Democrats to fight voter crackdown, calling on voters to “take our comfortable shoes, put on our masks. , cook dinner in a brown bag and maybe have breakfast too ”to ensure Trump’s threats against postal voting do not discourage voter turnout.
“Now is not the time to deny our votes in protest or to play games with candidates who have no chance of winning,” Obama said, warning against the protest vote and encouraging them. voters to request their postal ballot “tonight”.
“If you think things can’t get worse, trust me they can and they will if we don’t change things in this election,” Obama said, calling on Democrats to vote “like our lives in.” depend. ”
Closing his remarks by emphasizing the goodness of America – in accordance with Biden’s pledge to “restore the soul of this nation” – Obama underscored the sacrifices of medical personnel, essential workers and all. the “compassionate, resilient and decent people whose fortunes are tied to each other.”
“It is high time that our leaders reflect again our truth,” said Obama.