WASHINGTON – At the 2016 Democratic National Convention, former first lady Michelle Obama told party members that "when they go low, we go high.”
After four years of President Donald Trump, she came back to give it to them straight.
“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,” Mrs. Obama told her party in a blunt and emotional appeal that capped the first night of the Democrats' convention.
The former first lady outlined dire stakes for the election ahead, declaring President Donald Trump “in over his head" and the “wrong president for our country.” Warning of possible voter suppression, she told Americans they must vote for Joe Biden “in numbers that cannot be ignored" if they want to preserve the "most basic requirements for a functioning society.”
The scathing assessment was delivered in the last and longest speech in Democrats' experiment with a virtual convention in the coronavirus era, a spot Mrs. Obama earned through her overwhelming popularity in her party.
She delivered her remarks in a casual setting — a living room, with a Biden campaign sign on the mantle — and identified as much with the beleaguered voters of America as the lineup of politicians that preceded her in the program.
“You know I hate politics,” she said, before diving into a speech that appealed to both her longtime fans in the Democratic coalition and a broad audience she's drawn since leaving the White House and becoming a bestselling author.
The president “has had more than enough time to prove that he can do the job, but he is clearly in over his head,” she said. “He cannot meet this moment.”