President Barack Obama ignited the stump today while campaigning for Hillary Clinton in Philadelphia. With the momentum of 78 consecutive months of job growth behind him, Obama rattled off his Presidency’s impressive list of accomplishments and informed voters that in order for America to experience continued success, Clinton needs to be elected. Though the data Obama shared was remarkable, the most powerful component of the speech, per usual, was Obama himself.
With his signature swagger and rolled up shirt sleeves, Obama commanded the crowd as soon as he set foot on the podium. He established a relaxed tone before even opening his mouth. As he took the stump, he loosened his tie, blew a kiss, waved and smiled. Then he talked about football. The stage was Obama’s home and we were sitting in the living room. His speech was thoughtfully colloquial, cajoling us to dismiss any division we may feel from him due to his elevated position.
And, man, does he have jokes. While Obama was expounding upon some of his most revered achievements, a spectator shouted excitedly about the low gas prices. Obama paused, smiled and deadpanned “Thanks, Obama.” His characteristic wry humor was intertwined in his dialogue with a standout moment focusing on Trump being a champion for the working class:
I keep on reading this analysis Trumps got support from working folks. Really? Like, this is the guy you want to be championing working people? This guy who spent 70 years on this Earth showing no concern for working people? This guy’s suddenly going to be your champion? I mean, he spent most of his life trying to stay as far away from working people as he could. And now this guy is going to be the champion of working people? I mean, he wasn’t gonna let you on his golf course, He wasn’t gonna let you buy in his condo and now suddenly, this guy is going to be your champion?
Another humorous highlight was when Obama reflected upon his 2008 Primary battle against Clinton. He told the crowd, that every time he thought he may have won, and was feeling like Rocky running up the Philadelphia Art Museum steps, Clinton knocked him out again. He added a quick reenactment of the famous movie scene for levity and stated he was “whooped”by Clinton in Pennsylvania.
Jokes aside, Obama managed to bring Trump to task more effectively in 42 minutes than the mainstream media has mustered in the past year. After declaring “You don’t grade the Presidency on a curve” Obama rattled off a list of reasons why Trump was “unfit” to be President including his lack of experience, twisted affection for foreign dictators, misappropriation of charitable funds, slew of lawsuits, and bad business practices. Obama lambasted Trump for running a campaign of fear, stating, “He’s betting that if he scares enough people, he may just scare up enough votes to win this election.”
Obama made it apparent that comparing Clinton and Trump is a futile effort, “We cannot afford to suddenly treat this like a reality show. To act as if there’s some equivalence here.” His whole speech seemed to vacillate between astonishment at the state of the race itself, and urgency that we take seriously what is an unbelievable situation.
Delivering a speech that elucidated Clinton’s vast qualifications, Obama’s admiration of the former Secretary of State was palpable. He opined that Clinton has faced significant amounts of “unfair criticism” throughout her career. Obama stopped shy of calling out the blatant sexism Clinton has faced, but his allusion and intention were clear.
As much as the speech chastised Trump, Obama’s true intention was evident. He was going to utilize his magnetism to elect Hillary Clinton for President. “I am REALLY into electing Hillary Clinton” Obama promised us “Like, this is not me going through the motions here. I really, really, really want to elect Hillary Clinton.”
Check out Obama’s full speech on C-SPAN.