The 10 Soundbites You Need To Hear From Michelle Obama’s Incredible Speech

'Let me be as honest and clear as I possibly can. Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country.'

Michelle Obama

by Georgia Aspinall |
Updated on

Michelle Obama delivered an incredibly powerful keynote speech at the opening night of the virtual Democratic convention last night. If you haven’t seen it in full, you’ve most likely heard about her extraordinary takedown of Donald Trump.

Despite admitting that she ‘hates politics’, Obama got involved to deliver her most detailed criticism of Trump so far, endorsing Joe Biden for president. Biden served as Barack Obama’s Vice Presidentin from 2018-2016. In the 2020 US General Election, Kamala Harris will serve as Biden’s Vice President nominee.

What was so great about Obama’s speech? Well, not only was it thoroughly passionate and convincing, it was easy to engage with. As the Democrats are keen to engage as many young voters as possible, who turned out in record numbers for the 2018 mid-term elections, that is vital. She also didn’t hold back in her criticism of Trump, saying he is ‘clearly in over his head’ even reciting Generation Z’s most favoured phrase…’It is what it is.’

But don’t just take our word for it, watch for yourself or read her words below. Here, we’ve collated the best soundbites from Obama’s 18-minute speech (in order) for your easy-reading pleasure…

On witnessing the presidency first-hand

‘The job is hard. It requires clear-headed judgment, a mastery of complex and competing issues, a devotion to facts and history, a moral compass, and an ability to listen—and an abiding belief that each of the 330,000,000 lives in this country has meaning and worth.’

On why this election is so important

Being president doesn't change who you are — it reveals who you are. Well, a presidential election can reveal who we are too, and four years ago, too many people chose to believe that their votes didn't matter.

‘Four years ago, too many people chose to believe that their votes didn't matter. Maybe they were fed up. Maybe they thought the outcome wouldn't be close. Maybe the barriers felt too steep. Whatever the reason, in the end, those choices sent someone to the Oval Office who lost the national popular vote by nearly 3,000,000 votes.

On Trump's evisceration of Barack Obama's policies

When my husband left office with Joe Biden at his side, we had a record-breaking stretch of job creation. We'd secured the right to health care for 20,000,000 people. We were respected around the world, rallying our allies to confront climate change. And our leaders had worked hand-in-hand with scientists to help prevent an Ebola outbreak from becoming a global pandemic.

Four years later, the state of this nation is very different. More than 150,000 people have died, and our economy is in shambles because of a virus that this president downplayed for too long. It has left millions of people jobless. Too many have lost their health care; too many are struggling to take care of basic necessities like food and rent; too many communities have been left in the lurch to grapple with whether and how to open our schools safely. Internationally, we've turned our back, not just on agreements forged by my husband, but on alliances championed by presidents like Reagan and Eisenhower.

On Trump's response to Black Lives Matter

And here at home, as George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and a never-ending list of innocent people of colour continue to be murdered, stating the simple fact that a Black life matters is still met with derision from the nation's highest office.

On his lack of empathy

Whenever we look to this White House for some leadership or consolation or any semblance of steadiness, what we get instead is chaos, division, and a total and utter lack of empathy.

Right now kids in this country are seeing what happens when we stop requiring empathy of one another. They're looking around wondering if we've been lying to them this whole time about who we are and what we truly value.

On his future if re-elected

So let me be as honest and clear as I possibly can. Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country. He has had more than enough time to prove that he can do the job, but he is clearly in over his head. He cannot meet this moment. He simply cannot be who we need him to be for us. It is what it is.

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.

On the criticism of Joe Biden

Now, Joe is not perfect. And he'd be the first to tell you that. But there is no perfect candidate, no perfect president. And his ability to learn and grow—we find in that the kind of humility and maturity that so many of us yearn for right now.

On the US voting system failures

Right now, folks who know they cannot win fair and square at the ballot box are doing everything they can to stop us from voting. They're closing down polling places in minority neighbourhoods. They're purging voter rolls. They're sending people out to intimidate voters, and they're lying about the security of our ballots. These tactics are not new.

But this is not the time to withhold our votes in protest or play games with candidates who have no chance of winning. We have got to vote like we did in 2008 and 2012.

We have got to grab our comfortable shoes, put on our masks, pack a brown bag dinner and maybe breakfast too, because we've got to be willing to stand in line all night if we have to.

On the importance of voting

So many of you are already going that extra mile. Even when you're exhausted, you're mustering up unimaginable courage to put on those scrubs and give our loved ones a fighting chance. Even when you're anxious, you're delivering those packages, stocking those shelves, and doing all that essential work so that all of us can keep moving forward.

Even when it all feels so overwhelming, working parents are somehow piecing it all together without child care. Teachers are getting creative so that our kids can still learn and grow. Our young people are desperately fighting to pursue their dreams.

On the important of voting the right way

It is up to us to add our voices and our votes to the course of history, echoing heroes like John Lewis who said, "When you see something that is not right, you must say something. You must do something."

If we want to be able to look our children in the eye after this election, we have got to reassert our place in American history.

Click through for the most adorable throwback pictures of Barack and Michelle Obama from her biography, Becoming...


Barack and Michelle Obama Throwback Pictures - Grazia (slider)

Michelle and Barack Obama Throwback Pictures - Grazia1 of 4
CREDIT: Instagram Michelle Obama

Michelle and Barack Obama Throwback Pictures - Grazia

The first image she shared was from her family home, which she describes as a 'cramped apartment'. Her caption read:'Over the next few days, I'll be sharing some photos and memories from my book, BECOMING. My father, Fraser, taught me to work hard, laugh often, and keep my word. My mother, Marian, showed me how to think for myself and to use my voice. Together, in our cramped apartment on the South Side of Chicago, my family helped me see the value in our story, in my story, and in the larger story of our country.'

Michelle and Barack Obama Throwback Pictures - Grazia2 of 4
CREDIT: Instagram Michelle Obama

Michelle and Barack Obama Throwback Pictures - Grazia

Of course, the world swooned when Michelle uploaded her wedding day image with Barack Obama. According to her, the wedding was almost ruined by Barack waking up ill, she said:'You can't tell it from this photo, but Barack woke up on our wedding day in October, 1992 with a nasty head cold. Somehow, by the time I met him at the altar, it had miraculously disappeared and we ended up dancing almost all night. Twenty five years later, we're still having fun, while also doing the hard work to build our partnership and support each other as individuals. I can't imagine going on this wild ride with anybody else.'

Michelle and Barack Obama Throwback Pictures - Grazia3 of 4
CREDIT: Instagram Michelle Obama

Michelle and Barack Obama Throwback Pictures - Grazia

One of our favourite images was her outside Princeton University on her first day, where she recalls being scared and never having stood out because of her race before. Michelle has previously been very vocal about how Princeton was 'infamous for being racially the most conservative of the Ivy League colleges' and even had roommates whose parents attempted to have her moved because of her race. She captioned the image with:'This is me at Princeton in the early 1980s. I know that being a first-generation college student can be scary, because it was scary for me. I was black and from a working-class neighborhood in Chicago, while Princeton's student body was generally white and well-to-do. I'd never stood out in a crowd or a classroom because of the color of my skin before. But I found close friends and a mentor who gave me the confidence to be myself. Going to college is hard work, but every day I meet people whose lives have been profoundly changed by education, just as mine was. My advice to students is to be brave and stay with it. Congratulations to the Class of 2018! #ReachHigher'

Michelle and Barack Obama Throwback Pictures - Grazia4 of 4
CREDIT: Instagram Michelle Obama

Michelle and Barack Obama Throwback Pictures - Grazia

Yet another adorable family candid, Michelle shared her experience of living in the White House, especially with children that her and Barack wanted to raise to be grounded. Her caption read:'Home has always been where our family is...It hasn't mattered whether we're lounging on a couch in Chicago's Hyde Park or, as we are here, in the White House. We did our best to make the White House a comfortable place where our girls could climb trees and host slumber parties, where we'd have dinner together as a family, and where we tried to live by the values our parents instilled in us.'

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us