Former US president Barack Obama said the Trump administration had turned the presidency into a “reality show” in his speech to the Democratic convention, holding up Joe Biden as a panacea for all of the country’s troubles.

Addressing the third night of his party’s national convention on Wednesday, the ex-POTUS took an uncharacteristically harsh tone on President Donald Trump, saying he hadn’t “grown into the job because he can’t” while laying blame for the Covid-19 crisis squarely on his administration.

“I did hope, for the sake of our country, that Donald Trump might show some interest in taking the job seriously, that he might come to feel the weight of the office and discover some reverence for the democracy that had been placed in his care. But he never did,” Obama said.

He’s shown no interest in putting in the work, … no interest in using the awesome power of his office to help anyone but himself and his friends, no interest in treating the presidency as anything but one more reality show that he can use to get the attention he craves.

The consequences of Trump’s failures have been “severe,” he went on, holding him ultimately responsible for “170,000 Americans dead” in the pandemic, “millions of jobs gone, … our proud reputation around the world badly diminished, and our democratic institutions threatened like never before.”

Obama insisted that a Biden administration would make that all go away and then some, vowing that he would bring Covid-19 “under control,” “expand healthcare,” “rescue the economy” and “restore our standing in the world” – quite a tall order.  

Do not let them take away your power, do not let them take away your democracy… You can give our democracy new meaning. You can take it to a better place.

Trump met the speech with a number of tweets – in standard all-caps style – blasting the former president for spying on his 2016 campaign while questioning his sluggish endorsement for Biden, which didn’t come until a late stage in the primary season.

Obama gave the best speech I’ve heard in my lifetime and all we get from our sitting president is two angry all caps tweets. ??‍♀️

Obama’s address also became a hot topic elsewhere on social media, prompting fawning reactions from supporters, who dubbed the talk “spell-binding”, “expertly delivered” and “truly presidential.” Critics of President Trump, meanwhile, compared his two-tweet response to the speech itself, apparently finding it lacking.

When an Obama speaks it’s always the best speech in history to our media.

Some observers noted that Obama’s speech departed from his typical “uplifting promises of hope and change,” however, instead focusing on “negativity” and “complaints.”

He acted like a school principal chastising unruly students. His whole speech was a major wet blanket. So much for hope and change.

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