Former first lady Michelle Obama’s speech at the Democratic National Convention was not just a powerful condemnation of President Donald Trump’s record and handling of the pandemic, it was an appeal aimed at the heart and conscience of every American who has watched the chaos of the last four years and yearned to make things right.
Reprising her role as “the closer” — this time for former Vice President Joe Biden on the convention’s opening night –– Obama spoke as the wife of a former President who has seen “the immense weight and awesome power” of the presidency up close. She spoke as a mother trying to teach empathy and instill “a strong moral foundation” in her daughters.
On a night when many convention speakers, including four Republicans, tried to convince Americans of all political persuasions that they should choose country over party, Obama urged them to choose right over wrong, reminding her audience that she hates politics and asked all of her listeners to “close out the noise and the fear” and open their hearts. Those who do that, she said, “know that what’s going on in this country is just not right.”
The 18-minute address represented one of the most effective moral arguments against Trump’s presidency from a prominent Democrat — and came with a stark warning from the former first lady.
“If you take one thing from my words tonight, it is this: 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. If we have any hope of ending this chaos, we have got to vote for Joe Biden like our lives depend on it,” she said in a pre-taped address.