Michelle Obama Speaks at the Virtual 2020 DNC
Former first lady Michelle Obama gave an electrifying 19-minute keynote speech at the opening night of the 2020 virtual Democratic National Convention on August 17.
Obama made a passionate appeal to the conscience of all Americans who have lived through the “chaos of the last four years,” she said.
Being president “doesn’t change who you are,” Obama stated. “It reveals who you are.
Let me be as honest and clear as I possibly can; Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country. He has had more than enough time to prove that he can do the job, but he is clearly in over his head. He cannot meet this moment.”
In contrast, she praised former vice president Joe Biden, the Democratic candidate for president. “I know Joe. He is a profoundly decent man, guided by faith. He knows what it takes to rescue an economy, beat back a pandemic and lead our country. In addition, he listens. He will tell the truth and trust science.”
Obama attacked Trump’s “total and utter lack of empathy,” she said. “Right now, kids in this country are seeing what happens when we stop requiring empathy of one another. They're looking around, wondering if we've been lying to them this whole time about who we are and what we truly value.”
Obama shared her fears about the current state of affairs in the United States, describing “people shouting in grocery stores, unwilling to wear a mask to keep us all safe; people calling the police on folks minding their own business just because of the color of their skin; an entitlement that says only certain people belong here, that greed is good, and winning is everything, because as long as you come out on top, it doesn't matter what happens to everyone else.”
This type of behavior can lead to “a nation that's underperforming not simply on matters of policy but on matters of character. Trump simply cannot be who we need him to be for us. If you think things cannot possibly get worse, trust me, they can. We have got to vote for Joe Biden, like our lives depend on it.”
Obama, wearing a simple necklace with the words VOTE, urged Americans to vote in large numbers if they wanted to return to “the most basic requirements for a functioning society,” she said. “Right now, folks who know they cannot win fair and square at the ballot box are doing everything they can to stop us from voting.”
News outlets around the world praised the widely popular former first lady’s speech; even members of the conservative Fox News gave her high marks. Fox News host Chris Wallace said Obama’s speech was a “heck of a contribution” to Biden’s campaign. “She really flayed, sliced and diced Donald Trump, talking about the chaos and confusion and lack of empathy, especially coming from this president and from this White House,” he said.
Even conservative analyst Brit Hume had mostly positive comments. “She was very good, she’s a very good speaker, and for someone who doesn’t like politics she certainly is good at it.”
Obama did not mention Kamala Harris, Biden’s vice presidential running mate in her speech because her remarks were taped before Harris had been selected. Nevertheless, she cheered Harris’s appointment in a tweet. “Let’s embrace and celebrate this moment. Go get’em girl.”