As the Night 1 headliner at the Democratic National Convention, former first lady Michelle Obama said "going high is the only thing that works," even as she attempted to take down President Donald Trump on character in an impassioned speech.
"Sadly, this is the America that is on display for the next generation, a nation that's underperforming not simply on matters of policy but on matters of character – and that's not just disappointing, it's downright infuriating," she said, getting emotional at times while she delivering the prerecorded speech.
"Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country," she continued. "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."
Obama called her "friend" Joe Biden a "profoundly decent man" and one "who will tell the truth and trust science."
"He knows what it takes to rescue an economy, beat back a pandemic and lead our country," she added. "He will make smart plans and manage a good team, and he will govern as someone who’s lived a life that the rest of us can recognize."
Amid the debate over mail-in balloting, she also made an impassioned plea to bring out the vote.
"We have got to vote like we did in 2008 and 2012," she said. "We've got to show up with the same level of passion and hope for Joe Biden. We've got to vote early, in person if we can.
"We've got to request our mail-in ballots right now, tonight, and send them back immediately and follow up to make sure they're received, and then make sure our friends and families do the same.
"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."
Echoing her most famous line of her eight years as first lady, while stressing "you know I hate politics," Michelle Obama referred back to her quote "When they go low, we go high."
"Going high does not mean putting on a smile and saying nice things when confronted by viciousness and cruelty," she said in attacking her husband's successor. "Going high means taking the harder path. It means scraping and clawing our way to that mountaintop.
"Going high means standing fierce against hatred while remembering that we are one nation under God, and if we want to survive, we've got to find a way to live together and work together across our differences."
Speaking to those who might not have been backers of Biden as much as they were of former President Barack Obama, Michelle Obama said Joe is humble and evolving.
"Now, Joe is not perfect, and he'd be the first to tell you that," she said. "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.
"Because Joe Biden has served this nation his entire life without ever losing sight of who he is, but more than that, he has never lost sight of who we are – all of us."
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