Barack Obama’s Wednesday night speech at the Democratic National Convention immediately spurred a deluge of reactions across social media, with many praising the former president’s rhetoric and calling it a marked difference from that of the current commander-in-chief.
Celebrated journalist Dan Rather called Obama’s speech an “inspiring vision of the American story,” while others complimented everything from Obama’s suit to his “heartfelt and urgent plea for our democracy.”
Obama. Powerful. Moving. He demonstrates once again why he was twice elected President. Whatever you thought of his tenure in office, there is no denying that he can summon forth an inspiring vision of the American story.
— Dan Rather (@DanRather) August 20, 2020
.@BarackObama has given so many moving, meaningful speeches but perhaps none more than his message tonight.It will be reported as an assault on his successor.It will be remembered as a heartfelt and urgent plea for our democracy from a POTUS who palpably loves and values it.
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) August 20, 2020
What an incredible, moving and inspiring call to action by #Obama.
— Ben Stiller (@RedHourBen) August 20, 2020
What's the circumspect way to say that Obama has opened up a big can of Whoop-Ass?
— Jeff Greenfield (@greenfield64) August 20, 2020
I really missed seeing my president in a good fitting suit. #petty 🤣
— Kimberly Bryant (@6Gems) August 20, 2020
— Tara Setmayer (@TaraSetmayer) August 20, 2020
Other voices zeroed in on the graveness of Obama’s words, pointing out that his direct usage of Trump’s name and harsh critique of his successor’s record stood in marked contrast from the tradition of former presidents engaging in, at best, subdued criticisms of those who follow them in the White House.
Trump, in character, midway through Obama’s speech begin live-tweeting in all caps false attacks on his predecessor. The contrast between the two leaders was also highlighted on Twitter.
That’s the darkest Barack Obama we’ve ever seen. The message was clear: vote now or let democracy die.
— Mara Gay (@MaraGay) August 20, 2020
President Obama just called out Donald Trump by name twice and didn’t use the title of president.
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) August 20, 2020
No former President has ever attacked his incumbent successor at a convention like Barack Obama tonight, or even come close.
— Michael Beschloss (@BeschlossDC) August 20, 2020
President Obama talking about the north star of the Constitution and a president’s duty to be custodian of this document. But then there’s the man in the White House right now
— Vanita Gupta (@vanitaguptaCR) August 20, 2020
President Obama delivered a speech that said President Trump is incapable of growing into the job of the presidency, has used it to his own benefit and treated it like one big reality TV show. In response, President Trump anger tweeted his speech. https://t.co/x7cpWxZpH7
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) August 20, 2020
Not all voices were positive. Fox News host Laura Inghram called the speech the “same type of anti-Trump diatribe that we’ve been hearing for five years.” Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders accused Obama’s administration of illegally spying on Trump’s campaign ― echoing the baseless assertion that Trump has called “Obamagate,” which was also in one of the president’s Wednesday night tweets.
They wasted Obama. They had him deliver exactly the same type of anti-Trump diatribe that we've been hearing for five years.
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) August 20, 2020
President Obama’s rhetoric about democracy would carry more weight if his administration hadn’t illegally spied on the Trump campaign and tried to overturn the results of the 2016 election.
— Sarah Huckabee Sanders (@SarahHuckabee) August 20, 2020
A myriad of voices, however, characterized the 44th commander-in-chief’s words as downright “presidential,” and even reminiscent of an certain Greek god.
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) August 20, 2020
Watching President Obama right now is like watching Zeus come down from Mount Olympus to try to fix things
— Roland Scahill (@rolandscahill) August 20, 2020 testPromoTitleReplace testPromoDekReplace Join HuffPost Today!No thanks. Important conversations are happening now. Add your voice! Join HuffPost Today! Download Calling all HuffPost superfans! Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost’s next chapter Join HuffPost