NEW YORK, Aug 19: Former First Lady Michelle Obama slammed Donald Trump calling him “the wrong president,” and urging Americans to elect Joe Biden, the Democratic challenger, in November to end the chaos created by Trump’s presidency.
“If you think things cannot possibly get worse, trust me they can; and they will, if we don’t make a change in this election,” she told her party’s virtual convention at which Biden, the former Vice President, and Senator Kamala Harris will be formally nominated as the presidential and vice presidential nominees kicking off an 11-week sprint until Election Day.
Mrs. Obama hailed Biden as a “profoundly decent man” and highlighted his vast experience, especially at the nation’s number 2 post under her husband’s administration. She said that she had seen Biden at work and that he had proved himself capable of handling the demands of the job. She cited several of the Obama administration’s achievements as evidence of Biden’s aptness for office, from expanding health care under the Affordable Care Act to rallying allies to combat climate change.
“You simply cannot fake your way through this job,” Mrs. Obama said. “Being president doesn’t change who you are. It reveals who you are.”“Well, a presidential election can reveal who we are, too,“ she said.
The event largely centered on coronavirus, the pandemic which has hit America hard, racial justice and testimonials from Democrats who called Biden a man of compassion who would unite the country. The evening also featured remarks from Republicans such as former presidential candidate John Kasich who were now backing Biden.
“Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country,” Obama said in her recorded remarks. “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. He simply cannot be who we need him to be for us. It is what it is.” Obama, wearing a gold necklace that spelled out “VOTE,” urged voters to turn out in force to give Biden an overwhelming victory. “We’ve got to vote for Joe Biden like our lives depend on it,” she said.
She said Trump badly mishandled pandemic, which has cost more 170,000 lives and left millions unemployed, and said he lacks the judgment and moral compass needed to lead the country through the crisis. “You simply cannot fake your way through this job,” she said.
Mrs. Obama also touched on one of her famous lines, “When they go low, we go high,” and explained that means avoiding dehumanizing and degrading tactics, but doesn’t “mean putting on a smile and saying nice things when confronted by viciousness and cruelty.”
“Going high means taking the harder path. It means scraping and clawing our way to that mountain top,” she said. “Going high means standing fierce against hatred while remembering that we are one nation under God, and if we want to survive, we’ve got to find a way to live together and work together across our differences.”
One of the most popular figures in Democratic politics, Mrs. Obama sounded at times like she was having a frank and personal conversation with voters, while acknowledging that not everyone would be open to hearing her message about race, gender and political affiliation. But she also seemed to be trying to reach out to some of those people by noting that she disliked politics herself.
“Now, I understand that my message won’t be heard by some people: We live in a nation that is deeply divided, and I am a Black woman speaking at the Democratic convention,” Mrs. Obama said. “But enough of you know me by now. You know that I tell you exactly what I’m feeling. You know I hate politics. But you also know that I care about this nation. You know how much I care about all of our children.”
Repeatedly returning to her concern for young Americans and the theme of empathy, Mrs. Obama warned that children are becoming disillusioned about the nation’s professed ideals and “wondering if we’ve been lying to them this whole time about who we are and what we truly value.”
“They see our leaders labeling fellow citizens enemies of the state while emboldening torch-bearing white supremacists,” Mrs. Obama said. “They watch in horror as children are torn from their families and thrown into cages, and pepper spray and rubber bullets are used on peaceful protesters for a photo op.”
She also struck an optimistic tone during her prime-time appearance, embracing a positive view of America’s future despite its recent setbacks, even as she has acknowledged a recent struggle with a form of mild depression in the midst of the pandemic and a period of unparalleled political polarization in the country.