On Monday night Democrats kicked off their four-day virtual convention with messages from everyday Americans, members of Congress and the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee himself. But if there was one major takeaway from the first night of the unprecedented event, it was that Donald Trump is “clearly in over his head.”

The words came from former First Lady Michelle Obama, who has voiced concerns over Trump in the past but has never addressed his missteps so directly. After starting her prerecorded speech discussing how much she loved her country and what a momentous challenge it is to assume the role of the highest elected office in this country, Obama got candid about the person who now holds that title. 

“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,” she added, likely borrowing from Trump’s interview with Axios when he conveyed that same sentiment to describe the more than 150,000 deaths from coronavirus.

Obama’s decision to name-check Trump and evoke a less enthusiastic tone than we typically associate with the popular figure comes as many Americans express dismay, disappointment and fury over the inaction of the White House during one of the most concerning times in our country’s modern history. But if you think the Forever First Lady has abandoned her “If they go low, we go high” mantra, she hasn’t. On Monday she noted that she still believes it’s important to never “become part of the ugly noise” that seeks to degrade and dehumanize. Instead of going low, Obama encouraged viewers to go to their mailbox or the actual polls to vote.

Michelle Obama wears "when we all vote" tee during When We All Vote rally
(Photo: Thaddaeus McAdams/FilmMagic)

“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. If we have any hope of ending this chaos,” she continues, “we have got to vote for Joe Biden like our lives depend on it.”

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