Former First Lady Michelle Obama's criticism of President Donald Trump's refusal to concede the election and begin a "smooth transition of power" is reigniting discourse about the 2020 election. Obama shared the note to social media Monday, more than a week after numerous outlets named Joe Biden as the projected winner of the election and following days of the Trump campaign continuing to undermine the results of the election with what she called "groundless conspiracy theories."
In the lengthy post, Obama reflected on the 2016 election and the "hurt" and disappointment she experienced after Trump won the election against Hilary Clinton. Although the results may not have been what she had been hoping for, Obama noted that "the votes had been counted" and "the American people had spoken." She said that "one of the great responsibilities of the presidency is to listen when they do," and as such, she and her husband "instructed our staffs to do what George and Laura Bush had done for us: run a respectful, seamless transition of power—one of the hallmarks of American democracy."
Obama's candid post, which comes as Trump refuses to concede or move forward with the transition to a new administration, immediately sparked conversation on social media. Many noted, just as Obama had, the stark contrast between the transition of power in 2016 versus the transition of power now. Scroll down to see what people are saying.
In her post, Obama admitted that the transition of power wasn't "easy for me." She said that Trump "had spread racist lies about my husband that had put my family in danger," which was something she wasn't "ready to forgive. But I knew that, for the sake of our country, I had to find the strength and maturity to put my anger aside."prevnext
If people don’t respect or agree with the election outcomes, I say they just stop voting all-together!— malahidael (@malahidael_d) November 17, 2020
In doing so, she invited the current First Lady Melania Trump to the White House "and talked with her about my experience, answering every question she had—from the heightened scrutiny that comes with being First Lady to what it's like to raise kids in the White House." A recent CNN report claimed that Melania has so far not offered the same to first lady-elect Jill Biden. The serving First Lady inviting the First-Lady elect to the White House "is customary" and marks a step in the transition of power.prevnext
She has had enough.— Joe Schmo (@joeschmoagogo) November 16, 2020
Well said, FLOTUS-44. This is not a game. Kindly authorize the transition & vacate the premises in a timely manner like all presidents have done before you. pic.twitter.com/2Y1WxiZ3RO— Shelly W. (@AquaShena) November 16, 2020
Obama said that she "knew in my heart it was the right thing to do—because our democracy is so much bigger than anybody's ego." She said that "our love of country requires us to respect the results of an election even when we don't like them or wish it had gone differently—the presidency doesn't belong to any one individual or any one party."prevnext
I just read Michelle Obama’s latest Instagram post and it’s so moving. I’m reminded how kind, caring and classy the Obamas were then and now. My anger and frustration grows. Why can’t Trump be forced to do the right thing. #WhiteHouseKaren— Stacey (@fuzz_cat) November 17, 2020
The former first lady went on to write, "to pretend that it does, to play along with these groundless conspiracy theories—whether for personal or political gain—is to put our country's health and security in danger." She warned that "this isn't a game."prevnext
Michelle Obama is an American through and through.— Jesuis Santa (@JesuisSanta) November 16, 2020
She had the time and the dedication to her country and the class to say what needed saying. I hope more do the same.— Jan Wade (@wadeteacher_j) November 16, 2020
Obama ended her post with a message to Americans as well as the country's leader. In the post, she urged them, "regardless of party, to honor the electoral process and do your part to encourage a smooth transition of power, just as sitting presidents have done throughout our history."prevnext
The trouble with this is that people who have a good heart expect everyone to have one too, but unfortunately thats not how it goes in this world.— Viwe Pobana (@Viwe_Pobana) November 17, 2020
That is a woman of strength and integrity. I cannot imagine what she was feeling at that time. It can't have been easy. Michelle Obama deserves so much respect.— Lora🦊~Joe Biden Won~ (@TwistedResiste1) November 16, 2020
In the wake of the election, the Trump campaign has filed numerous lawsuits in an effort to overturn the results of the election. The president, as well as others, have also made baseless claims of widespread voter fraud.prevnext
Class. We sorely miss it from most politicians today. Agree or disagree with policies, but character says it all. Both are missing from so many. It's disheartening.— Phil Mercer (@pjthink_skeptic) November 16, 2020
This is what a First Lady who loves her country does. I am so proud of her.❤— Linda S.🌊🇺🇸 (@lsumner37) November 16, 2020
Amid these allegations, the president has refused to concede, and the General Services Administration (GSA) has yet to sign a letter of ascertainment, which facilitates in the transition of power. The refusal to begin the transition means that Biden does not have access to federal resources to aid in the transition, and experts have warned that the delay could have serious consequences, particularly as it comes amid the coronavirus pandemic, Politico notes.prev