Michelle Obama - being president isn't anything like reality TV
The choice for president is “excruciatingly clear”, First Lady Michelle Obama said during her campaign trail debut, urging the college audience to support Hillary Clinton this November.
Obama cast the election as a choice between “one of the most qualified people who has ever endeavored to become president” and someone who doesn’t “take the job seriously”. Ticking off a list of accomplishments of her husband’s administration, Obama argued that with the past eight years as a guide, Trump is neither prepared nor qualified to be president.
candidate is not going to suddenly change when they get into office – it’s the opposite,” Obama told the crowd of mostly students and young people at George Mason University in Virginia. “In fact, because the minute that individual takes that oath, they are under the hottest, harshest light there is.”
She referenced her moving speech at the Democratic National Convention, “when they go low, we go high,” going after the Republican nominee without mentioning his name.
“Being president isn’t anything like reality TV,” she said, drawing loud cheers and applause.
Obama recalled the 2008 campaign, reminding the audience that raising questions about a president’s experience, qualifications and judgments is all part of a very public vetting process to be president.
“And then there were those who questioned and continued to question for the past eight years and to this day whether my husband was even born in this country,” she said, alluding to the Republican nominee without mentioning him by name.
Trump helped fan the flames of birtherism, a conspiracy theory that President Obama was not born in the US but in Kenya, and used the issue to help propel his political ambitions.
Facing dismal approval ratings among minority voters, Trump admitted on Friday morning for the first time that Barack Obama was born in the US.
Obama is a powerful and popular ally for Clinton, especially among young voters. New polling shows that millennials, disappointed by their options for president have turned toward third-party candidates.
The First Lady’s appearance on a college campus in the battleground state of Virginia, the First Lady’s event is part of a broader push by the Clinton campaign to win back some of the millennial voters who have strayed in recent weeks. Next week, Senator Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, the Democratic challenger whose campaign was powered by young people and students, will campaign for Clinton in the coming days.
“Elections aren’t just about who votes but who doesn’t vote,” she said, imploring the young people in the crowd to support Clinton. She encouraged them to fight the urge to want to “hide under the bed” and avoid the election altogether. She also addressed a complaint many young people who felt inspired by Sander’s underdog campaign have leveled at Clinton.
“I hear folks saying they don’t feel inspired in this election,” Obama said. “Well let me tell you, I disagree. I am inspired. Because for eight years, I’ve had the privilege to see what it takes to actually do this job, and here is what I absolutely know for sure. Listen to this: Right now we have an opportunity to elect one of the most qualified people who has ever endeavored to become president.”
Perhaps above all, the campaign event was a testament to Obama’s enduring popularity.
“It is so hard to believe that it is less than 2 months until election and that my family is almost at the end of term,” Obama said. The crowd broke into a raucous round of chanting: “Four more years” chant. “No,” Obama protested, waving her hand at the crowd as the chant continued. “No!”
“I promise you,” she said, “Barack and I will continue to work for you for the rest of our lives.”