Michelle Obama's Quotes About Trump Are, Uh, Pretty Clear About Her Opinions
I don't think it's news to anyone that Michelle Obama was on the Hillary Clinton side of the campaign line during the 2016 election. For one thing, the former first lady gave Clinton a glowing endorsement during the Democratic National Convention, and continued her support through the campaign. In light of that, these Michelle Obama quotes about Donald Trump are not at all surprising. But that doesn't mean they're not enjoyable.
Former first lady Obama, the woman behind the catchphrase "when they go low, you go high," has obviously never been one to get down in the dirt and sling mud with everyone else. But she definitely had a few choice words about President Donald Trump through the 2016 campaign — and once he snagged the Oval Office, too.
Throughout the 2016 campaign and beyond, Obama knew exactly when to speak up and when to speak out against Trump. She was a master of what to say, how to say it, and when. In fact, Obama was able to throw some masterful disdain Trump's way, all without ever going low. The former first lady was never mean, or rude, or anything but concisely, eloquently critical — and always with facts to back up her criticisms, which, if I may say so, makes it all even better. Allow me to walk you through some prime examples.
When she trolled Trump about his Twitter behavior.
When Obama stepped up to the plate for Clinton at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) on July 25, 2016, her famous and uplifting speech featured some grade-A Trump trolling. She didn't say his name once, but she didn't need to.
The first stab came when Obama started talking about what kind of president she wants for her daughters and for the children of America. She hit Trump right where it hurts: Twitter. She said,
I want someone with the proven strength to persevere, someone who knows this job and takes it seriously, someone who understands that the issues a president faces are not black and white and cannot be boiled down to 140 characters.
A little real? I think so.
Obama wants an even-keeled president. What a novel thought!
Obama also shared her thoughts on Trump's temperament during that same speech. The president isn't exactly known to be reserved and often responds immediately while fueled by emotion — usually in the form of late-night/early morning Twitter rants. Obama explained that an affinity for making "snap decisions" is not a good trait for a president. She said,
Because when you have the nuclear codes at your fingertips and the military in your command, you can’t make snap decisions. You can’t have a thin skin or a tendency to lash out. You need to be steady and measured and well-informed.
One would hope, at least.
She also had some words about Trump's behavior towards women.
Obama did a brilliant job, in my opinion, of illustrating why Clinton would make a better president than Trump, and she didn't even have to say his name. But then, the infamous Access Hollywood tapes were leaked in October 2016, and Obama had to make a really strong comment against Trump's behavior.
After those tapes, the line was officially drawn and then traced over in permanent marker. Obama did not beat around the bush. She did not sugarcoat it. She stood there in disbelief that she had to talk about a presidential candidate that, as she said, has "bragged about sexually assaulting women." She said during a Clinton campaign rally in Manchester, New Hampshire on Oct. 13, 2016,
The fact is that in this election, we have a candidate for president of the United States who, over the course of his lifetime and the course of this campaign, has said things about women that are so shocking, so demeaning that I simply will not repeat anything here today. And last week, we saw this candidate actually bragging about sexually assaulting women. And I can't believe that I'm saying that a candidate for president of the United States has bragged about sexually assaulting women.
Obama was very clear: Clinton should have won.
Given the choice words the former first lady had for the current president, post-election Obama was also pretty vocal about the fact that she thought the wrong candidate won the 2016 election. At the Simmons Leadership Conference — the longest-running women's leadership conference in America — on April 5, 2018, in Boston, Obama said that though Clinton wasn't "perfect," she was the most qualified for the job, according to Newsweek. She said,
The best qualified candidate in this last race was a woman. And she wasn’t perfect, but she was way more perfect... than many of the alternatives.
OK, it's not an express condemnation of Trump, but it's definitely not hard to read between the lines there.
Trump: The "other" parent.
At that very same leadership conference, Obama was very candid while comparing Trump to her husband, President Barack Obama, according to Time. The former first lady started off by saying that while her husband was in the White House, she felt as though the "good parent" was home. The "responsible" one. She said,
I always sort of felt like the eight years that Barack was president, it was sort of like having the good parent at home. You know, the responsible parent, the one who told you to eat your carrots and go to bed on time.
So if President Obama was the good and responsible parent, where does that leave Trump?
Well Obama didn't say "irresponsible parent," instead she opted for "other parent." That Trump is the "fun" parent (please note fun is in quotes because Obama also put it in quotes, because there is nothing fun about him, really) She said,
And now perhaps we have the other parent in the house. People thought it would be ‘fun’ to have Trump in charge because we can eat candy all day and stay up late and not follow the rules.
That is a pretty good analogy, if you think about it. We always like "a fun parent," but if we had the fun parent all the time, we'd probably all go to school unprepared and our teeth would fall out.
Given what Obama has said about Trump, I think it is pretty clear that she does not think very highly of the president. And hey, judging from the way Twitter explodes about the president on pretty much a daily basis, she's certainly not alone. She's just saying it better than anyone else.