Since the now-infamous Trump tape was released last week, we’ve heard a litany of high-profile people express their outrage. But there was one voice we we’ve been waiting for: Michelle Obama.
And it was worth every goddamn second.
Speaking at rally for Hilary Clinton in the US swing state of New Hampshire, the First Lady unleashed on the Republican presidential candidate’s treatment of women, and in the process delivered what may be the best speech of the entire US election campaign.
“I can’t believe that I’m saying that a candidate for President of the United States has bragged about sexually assaulting women,” she said.
“And I have to tell you that I can’t stop thinking about this. It has shaken me to my core in a way that I couldn’t have predicted.”
"I feel it so personally". Image: C-SPAN.
It was not a typical policy-focused campaign speech, but Obama said it would be "dishonest and disingenuous" to overlook Trump's comments, the ones in which he bragged to Access Hollywood host Billy Bush that his high profile allowed him to kiss women without their consent and to "grab them by the pussy".
The 70-year-old was forced to issue a public apology after the 2005 recording was published by The Washington Post last week, and he has dismissed the conversation as "locker room banter".
In Michelle Obama's archetypal articulate, poised and passionate manner, she last night expertly dissected that rhetoric and said it was not something "we can ignore".
"Because this was not just a 'lewd conversation'. This wasn't just locker-room banter," she said.
"This was a powerful individual speaking freely and openly about sexually predatory behaviour, and actually bragging about kissing and groping women, using language so obscene that many of us were worried about our children hearing it when we turn on the TV."
FLOTUS went on to note that Trump's comments weren't an isolated incident, but just another example of "how he has treated women his whole life".
But rather than keep paraphrasing, I'm just going to get out of the way, and give Obama's words the space/respect they deserve. Here are some of the highlights:
"I have to tell you that I listen to all of this and I feel it so personally, and I'm sure that many of you do too, particularly the women. The shameful comments about our bodies. The disrespect of our ambitions and intellect. The belief that you can do anything you want to a woman. It is cruel. It's frightening. And the truth is, it hurts. It hurts."
"And I know it's a campaign, but this isn't about politics. It's about basic human decency. It's about right and wrong. And we simply cannot endure this, or expose our children to this any longer — not for another minute, and let alone for four years. Now is the time for all of us to stand up and say enough is enough. This has got to stop right now.
"Because consider this: If all of this is painful to us as grown women, what do you think this is doing to our children? What message are our little girls hearing about who they should look like, how they should act? What lessons are they learning about their value as professionals, as human beings, about their dreams and aspirations? And how is this affecting men and boys in this country? Because I can tell you that the men in my life do not talk about women like this. And I know that my family is not unusual. And to dismiss this as everyday locker-room talk is an insult to decent men everywhere."
We'd say "mic drop", but there isn't a drop big enough.