• Nathan Max

True Leaders Address Nation

Photo credit: Hannes Magerstaedt/Getty Images.

Barack Obama and Kamala Harris brought the virtual house down Wednesday night.

The 44th President of the United States and the newly minted Vice Presidential nominee delivered a memorable one-two punch to punctuate the third night of the Democratic National Convention, taking aim at Donald Trump and making the case for Joe Biden.

Obama and Harris each gave full-throated endorsements of Biden, while explaining how his leadership will repair the damage of the disastrous Donald Trump administration. Traditionally, ex-presidents do not speak ill of current presidents. But extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures, and Trump is no ordinary president.

During his nearly 20-minute address from Philadelphia, Obama reminded the nation what it’s like to have a responsible leader capable of speaking with truth and conviction. Obama spoke sternly and seriously, attacking his successor’s inability to lead.

“For close to four years, he has shown no interest in putting in the work,” Obama said. “Donald Trump hasn’t grown into the job, because he can’t. And the consequences of that failure are severe.”

Wednesday’s female-driven program also included brief speeches from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Former Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

Obama was originally scheduled to give the keynote address, but he reportedly insisted it go to Harris. Instead, he gave the evening’s penultimate speech. In true Obama form, he knocked it out of the park.

The former president referred to Biden as a brother, called him resilient and empathetic, described him as a hard worker and as someone who cares about America and Americans.

Most importantly, Obama urged everyone to do whatever it takes to vote. He warned that Trump has no regard for our institutions and no qualms about suppressing ballots, something that has become abundantly clear as of late.

“Do not let them take away your power. Do not let them take away your democracy,” Obama urged. “This administration has shown they will tear this democracy down if that’s what it takes to win.”

Barack Obama, one of the greatest public speakers in this country’s history, is a tough act to follow. However, Kamala Harris did it with aplomb in her 18-minute address from nearby Wilmington, Del.

She gave a largely biographical speech at first, intended to introduce herself. She then explained how systemic racism has made the pandemic even worse for people of color.

“This virus has no eyes, and yet it knows how we see each other and how we treat each other,” Harris said. “And let’s be clear. There is no vaccine for racism.”

Harris described Trump as incompetent and callous, while promising a Biden-Harris administration would act boldly and with honesty to meet the nation’s considerable challenges.

If nothing else, both Obama and Harris reassured the nation that better days can be ahead for all of us, if we do what is necessary to make change happen.

“Let’s fight with conviction,” Harris concluded, “Let’s fight with hope. Let’s fight with confidence in ourselves and with a commitment to each other, to the America we know is possible.

“The America we love.”