Barack Obama has just delivered one of the most passionate speeches of his presidency, scoring Hillary Clinton the strongest possible endorsement in her fight to secure the White House in November.
Obama delivered his powerful address at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia, declaring the reasons Clinton has his complete support — while pelting Republican nominee Donald Trump with stinging rebukes.
“I can say with confidence there has never been a man or a woman more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as President of the United States of America,” Obama said.
Quote of the night.
We’ve gathered the best moments from his speech.
1. He says Donald Trump has driven US politics into highly negative, unchartered waters.
“This is not your typical election. It’s not just a choice between parties or policies; the usual debates between left and right. This is a more fundamental choice – about who we are as a people, and whether we stay true to this great American experiment in self-government.
“What we heard in Cleveland last week wasn’t particularly Republican – and it sure wasn’t conservative. What we heard was a deeply pessimistic vision of a country where we turn against each other, and turn away from the rest of the world. There were no serious solutions to pressing problems – just the fanning of resentment, and blame, and anger, and hate. And that is not the America I know. The America I know is full of courage, and optimism, and ingenuity. The America I know is decent and generous.”
2. He says Clinton is the one candidate breaking down barriers and blasting glass ceilings.
“I see Americans of every party, every background, every faith who believe that we are stronger together – black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American; young and old; gay, straight, men, women, folks with disabilities, all pledging allegiance, under the same proud flag, to this big, bold country that we love. That’s the America I know. And there is only one candidate in this race who believes in that future, and has devoted her life to it; a mother and grandmother who’d do anything to help our children thrive; a leader with real plans to break down barriers, blast through glass ceilings, and widen the circle of opportunity to every single American – the next President of the United States, Hillary Clinton.
3. Obama points out Clinton was once his tenacious opponent, then a committed member of his team.
“Eight years ago, Hillary and I were rivals for the Democratic nomination. We battled for a year and a half. Let me tell you, it was tough, because Hillary’s tough. Every time I thought I might have that race won, Hillary just came back stronger.
“But after it was all over, I asked Hillary to join my team. She was a little surprised, but ultimately said yes – because she knew that what was at stake was bigger than either of us. And for four years, I had a front-row seat to her intelligence, her judgment, and her discipline. I came to realise that her unbelievable work ethic wasn’t for praise or attention – that she was in this for everyone who needs a champion. I understood that after all these years, she has never forgotten just who she’s fighting for.”
4. Clinton has the political experience to be President.
"Nothing truly prepares you for the demands of the Oval Office. Until you’ve sat at that desk, you don’t know what it’s like to manage a global crisis, or send young people to war. But Hillary’s been in the room; she’s been part of those decisions. She knows what’s at stake in the decisions our government makes for the working family, the senior citizen, the small business owner, the soldier, and the veteran. Even in the middle of crisis, she listens to people, and keeps her cool, and treats everybody with respect. And no matter how daunting the odds; no matter how much people try to knock her down, she never, ever quits.
"That’s the Hillary I know. That’s the Hillary I’ve come to admire. And that’s why I can say with confidence there has never been a man or a woman more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as President of the United States of America."
Watch: His wife Michelle Obama's speech was equally wonderful. (Post continues after video..)
5. Trump is 'not really a plans guy. Not really a facts guy, either.'
"Hillary has real plans to address the concerns she’s heard from you on the campaign trail. She’s got specific ideas to invest in new jobs, to help workers share in their company’s profits, to help put kids in preschool, and put students through college without taking on a ton of debt. That’s what leaders do.
"And then there’s Donald Trump. He’s not really a plans guy. Not really a facts guy, either. He calls himself a business guy, which is true, but I have to say, I know plenty of businessmen and women who’ve achieved success without leaving a trail of lawsuits, and unpaid workers, and people feeling like they got cheated."
6. Obama questions whether voters truly trust the billionaire businessman.
"Does anyone really believe that a guy who’s spent his 70 years on this Earth showing no regard for working people is suddenly going to be your champion? Your voice? If so, you should vote for him. But if you’re someone who’s truly concerned about paying your bills, and seeing the economy grow, and creating more opportunity for everybody, then the choice isn’t even close. If you want someone with a lifelong track record of fighting for higher wages, better benefits, a fairer tax code, a bigger voice for workers, and stronger regulations on Wall Street, then you should vote for Hillary Clinton."
7. He talks up Clinton's international relations track record, while crushing Trump's "ban all Muslims" mantra.
"If you’re concerned about who’s going to keep you and your family safe in a dangerous world – well, the choice is even clearer. Hillary Clinton is respected around the world not just by leaders, but by the people they serve. She’s worked closely with our intelligence teams, our diplomats, our military. And she has the judgment, the experience, and the temperament to meet the threat from terrorism. It’s not new to her. Our troops have pounded ISIL without mercy, taking out leaders, taking back territory. I know Hillary won’t relent until ISIL is destroyed. She’ll finish the job – and she’ll do it without resorting to torture, or banning entire religions from entering our country. She is fit to be the next Commander-in-Chief."
8. Hey, Trump: 'America is already great.'
"America is already great. America is already strong. And I promise you, our strength, our greatness, does not depend on Donald Trump."
9. He urges people not to fall for fear-mongering.
"It doesn’t matter to him [Trump] that illegal immigration and the crime rate are as low as they’ve been in decades, because he’s not offering any real solutions to those issues. He’s just offering slogans, and he’s offering fear. He’s betting that if he scares enough people, he might score just enough votes to win this election.
"That is another bet that Donald Trump will lose. Because he’s selling the American people short. We are not a fragile or frightful people.
10. He says Clinton isn't about demonising other people — unlike someone we know.
"She knows that ... democracy doesn’t work if we constantly demonise each other. She knows that for progress to happen, we have to listen to each other, see ourselves in each other, fight for our principles but also fight to find common ground, no matter how elusive that may seem."
11. He compares Clinton and Trump's starkly different views on immigration.
"Hillary knows we can insist on a lawful and orderly immigration system while still seeing striving students and their toiling parents as loving families, not criminals or rapists; families that came here for the same reasons our forebears came – to work, and study, and make a better life, in a place where we can talk and worship and love as we please. She knows their dream is quintessentially American, and the American Dream is something no wall will ever contain."
12. He reminds voters no one is immune to mistakes, even Clinton.
"Hillary’s got her share of critics. She’s been caricatured by the right and by some folks on the left; accused of everything you can imagine – and some things you can’t. But she knows that’s what happens when you’re under a microscope for 40 years. She knows she’s made mistakes, just like I have; just like we all do. That’s what happens when we try."
13. "Clinton is a fighter, stateswoman, mother, grandmother, public servant and patriot."
We (America) don’t fear the future; we shape it, embrace it, as one people, stronger together than we are on our own. That’s what Hillary Clinton understands – this fighter, this stateswoman, this mother and grandmother, this public servant, this patriot – that’s the America she’s fighting for. And that’s why I have confidence, as I leave this stage tonight, that the Democratic Party is in good hands.
14. He finishes by calling on people to join him in rejecting fear and cynicism.
"America, you have vindicated that hope these past eight years. And now I’m ready to pass the baton and do my part as a private citizen. This year, in this election, I’m asking you to join me – to reject cynicism, reject fear, to summon what’s best in us; to elect Hillary Clinton as the next President of the United States, and show the world we still believe in the promise of this great nation."
Obama, we will miss you.