Barack Obama's 2016 DNC Speech Was One for the History Books

Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

PHILADELPHIA — President Barack Obama delivered a forceful defense of his legacy, landed devastating blows on Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and made a strong case for his hopeful successor Hillary Clinton in a rousing speech Wednesday night at the Democratic National Convention.

Obama struck an optimistic tone, saying after two terms in the Oval Office he is "more optimistic about the future of America than ever before."

He laid out his achievements in office — from stopping the economic slide he inherited in 2008 to achieving marriage equality for LGBTQ Americans — and said only Clinton could continue with that legacy.

Source: YouTube

"You know, nothing truly prepares you for the demands of the Oval Office," Obama said. "You can read about it, you can study it. But until you've sat at that desk, you dont know what it's like to manage a global crisis or send young people into war.

"But Hillary has been in the room. She's been part of those decisions. She knows what's at stake."

Source: YouTube

Obama spoke directly to disgruntled Bernie Sanders supporters — a handful of whom held signs protesting the Trans-Pacific Partnership throughout his entire speech — saying Trump would not allow any of their goals to pass if he were to occupy the White House.

"Hillary Clinton is that woman in the arena," he said. "She's been there for us, even if we haven't always noticed. And if we are serious about our democracy, you can't afford to stay home just because she doesnt align with you on every issue."

He went on to attack Trump's signature issues, calling him a "homegrown demagogue" who's painted an untrue picture that America is a dystopian wasteland only Trump can return to greatness.

"Ronald Reagan called America a 'shining city on a hill.' Donald Trump calls it 'a divided crime scene' that only he can fix," Obama said. "He's not actually offering any real solution to those issues. He's just offering slogans, and ... betting that if he scares enough people, he might score just enough votes to win this election.

"That is another bet that Donald Trump will lose."

At the end of his speech, he thanked Americans for being by his side during his presidency, and implored them to support Clinton in November.

"Reject cynicism and reject fear," Obama said. "Summon what is best in us to elect Hillary Clinton."

Read more:
• Christine Leinonen, Mother of Orlando Shooting Victim, Gives Devastating 2016 DNC Speech
The 5 Most Devastating Burns in Michael Bloomberg's DNC Donald Trump Takedown
Read Barack Obama's Entire 2016 DNC Speech

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Emily C. Singer

Emily C. Singer, née Cahn, is a senior writer for Mic covering politics. She is based in New York and can be reached at esinger@mic.com

MORE FROM

Dow Jones won’t talk about its reported pay gap problem

A study released by the union representing Dow Jones employees found evidence of a "significant pay gap between men and women" who had the same job title and level of experience.

Mom slams ACA repeal, shows what's at stake in a tweetstorm about son's health

This mom says that without the ACA, her son wouldn't get the medical care he desperately needs.

Theresa May announces pact with Northern Ireland's conservative DUP

10 of the DUP's MPs will vote alongside May's party in exchange for more than $1 billion of funds.

Supreme Court will hear case of baker who refused service to gay couples on religious grounds

The Supreme Court will take on the case of a bakery owner who refused to bake a cake for a gay couple.

'Hot Mic' podcast: Health care opposition, Trump on Russian meddling & Pakistan tanker explosion

The important stories to get you caught up for Monday morning.

Dozens missing after tourist boat carrying more than 160 passengers sinks in Colombia

At least six people are confirmed dead and dozens more unaccounted for.

Dow Jones won’t talk about its reported pay gap problem

A study released by the union representing Dow Jones employees found evidence of a "significant pay gap between men and women" who had the same job title and level of experience.

Mom slams ACA repeal, shows what's at stake in a tweetstorm about son's health

This mom says that without the ACA, her son wouldn't get the medical care he desperately needs.

Theresa May announces pact with Northern Ireland's conservative DUP

10 of the DUP's MPs will vote alongside May's party in exchange for more than $1 billion of funds.

Supreme Court will hear case of baker who refused service to gay couples on religious grounds

The Supreme Court will take on the case of a bakery owner who refused to bake a cake for a gay couple.

'Hot Mic' podcast: Health care opposition, Trump on Russian meddling & Pakistan tanker explosion

The important stories to get you caught up for Monday morning.

Dozens missing after tourist boat carrying more than 160 passengers sinks in Colombia

At least six people are confirmed dead and dozens more unaccounted for.