Ever since former president Barack Obama handed over to President Trump, he has for the greater part been quiet on how the country is being run
Barack Obama has stepped into the role that Democratic activists have been yearning for him to take, speaking to Americans as bluntly as he could about the possible results if Trump should be reelected. Serving as a character witness for Joe Biden, he excoriated Trump for showing “no interest in finding common ground; no interest in using the awesome power of his office to help anyone but himself and his friends; no interest in treating the presidency as anything but one more reality show that he can use to get the attention he craves.”
“Donald Trump hasn’t grown into the job because he can’t, and the consequences of that failure are severe,” Obama said. “170,000 Americans dead. Millions of jobs gone while those at the top take in more than ever. Our worst impulses unleashed, our proud reputation around the world badly diminished and our democratic institutions threatened like never before.”
Obama made a point for his former vice president in what was a sharp rebuke of Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the presidency in general. It also served as a symbolic moment cooked up by the former President himself.
Initially, the convention had Obama scheduled to speak after whoever was to be Biden’s running mate. But once Harris was selected, Obama suggested switching the order so he could speak first, followed by her. A source close to the president said, “It felt like an opportunity to symbolically pass the torch, give her her moment and spotlight.”
The 44th President’s speech is arguably the most confrontational and blistering statements he has made about his successor, Donald Trump.
The former President argued that Trump has shown no interest in “finding common ground,” or “using the awesome power of his office to help anyone but himself and his friends.”
In a preemptive strike against Obama during his White House briefing Wednesday evening, Trump called his predecessor “ineffective” and “terrible.”
“The reason I’m here is because of President Obama and Joe Biden,” Trump said on Wednesday. “Because if they did a good job, I wouldn’t be here, and probably if they did a good job, I wouldn’t have even run. I would have been very happy. I enjoyed my previous life very much, but they did such a bad job that I stand before you as President.”
Serving as a character witness for Biden, Obama described his former vice president as a brother even though they come from different generations and different backgrounds. He spoke of Biden as a proud and devoted father who showed great resilience after the death of his first wife and baby daughter in 1972 and his son Beau Biden in 2015 and now helps other grieving families rebuild their lives.
“For eight years, Joe was the last one in the room whenever I faced a big decision. He made me a better president and he’s got the character and the experience to make us a better country,” Obama said. He asked voters to believe in “Joe and Kamala’s ability to lead this country out of these dark times and build it back better.”
“Joe and Kamala will restore our standing in the world and as we’ve learned from this pandemic, that matters,” the former president said. “Joe knows the world, and the world knows him. He knows that our true strength comes from setting an example the world wants to follow a nation that stands with democracy, not dictators; a nation that can inspire and mobilize others to overcome threats like climate change, terrorism, poverty and disease.” “But more than anything, what I know about Joe, what I know about Kamala, is that they actually care about every American,” he said.
Obama however acknowledged that many voters had already made up their minds and addressed his speech to voters who are questioning whether they should vote at all, giving reasons why he believes Biden will make a good president. Though the two men did not know one another well when Obama chose Biden as his running mate, he said that they have become as close as brothers over the past 12 years.
“Joe and I came from different places and different generations. But what I quickly came to admire about him is his resilience, born of too much struggle; his empathy, born of too much grief,” Obama said. “Joe’s a man who learned early on to treat every person he meets with respect and dignity, living by the words his parents taught him: ‘No one’s better than you, but you’re better than nobody.'”