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Trevor Noah on the brilliance of Michelle Obama’s ‘ice cold’ speech



Trevor Noah

Airing as the second night wrapped, The Daily Show recapped the first evening of the virtual Democratic national convention, in which numerous ordinary Americans, politicians and celebrities launched a weeklong celebration and call to action for candidate Joe Biden.

One of the first and most moving speakers, said host Trevor Noah, was Kristin Urquiza of Arizona, whose father died of the coronavirus in June. “His only pre-existing condition was trusting Donald Trump,” she said of her father, adding that he felt “betrayed” by the president at the end of his life.

“Wow, that was absolutely scathing,” said Noah of her remarks. “And she’s right, believing Donald Trump is truly one of the most harmful things you can do.” That fact was true even before Trump was president, he added – “just ask Atlantic City, his first two wives, or any graduate of Trump University.”

But the real highlight of the first night was former first lady Michelle Obama’s speech, in which she calmly declared Donald Trump unfit to lead. Obama’s words were both “brilliant” and “ice cold”, said Noah, “and what made it even more devastating was that Michelle Obama wasn’t angry – she wasn’t yelling, she just stated Trump’s complete failure as a president as an obvious fact”.

Noah also appreciated that Obama “didn’t shame people. In the last few years, it’s been standard in politics to shame people who don’t agree with you, and don’t intend to vote like you. A lot of it is fueled by the toxicity of online culture and how divided the country is right now, but instead of doing that, Michelle acknowledged that there are people who don’t want to hear what she has to say, and then she respectfully and earnestly engaged with those who might want to listen to her, and asked them to back Biden.”

Trump, of course, did not respond to Obama’s words well; at an event celebrating the centennial of women’s right to vote, he criticized her speech for being taped instead of live. “Not only was it taped,” he said, “but it was taped a long time ago because she had the wrong [coronavirus] deaths.”

“Goddamn, that is one of the biggest self-owns I’ve ever seen,” Noah responded, then imagined Trump’s logic: “A hundred fifty-thousand dead? I’ve killed 20,000 more since then, you idiot!”

For the second night in a row, Stephen Colbert processed the DNC highlightslive immediately following the virtual broadcast. The first night’s theme was “we the people”, while night two pivoted to “leadership matters” – “which, of course, has forced the GOP to rename the second night of their convention ‘all qualities matter’”

The convention’s second night was a “magical evening”, he continued, which included segments on women’s suffrage, America’s healthcare crisis and a “beautiful travelogue of Joe Biden’s hairline – it’s evidently been on quite a journey these last 50 years”.

The key speakers for the evening included former presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, who called the Oval Office under Trump a “storm center” rather than a command center.

“That’s a good point, but I don’t think Bill Clinton gets to lecture anyone on what should happen in the Oval Office,” Colbert responded. “Those in glass houses should not be allowed near the interns.”

Several speakers referenced Tuesday’s anniversary marking 100 years since women were constitutionally given the right to vote through the 19th amendment. “Fun fact: my mother was born three days after women could vote for the first time,” Colbert said of the occasion. “That’s how recently [this was]. Another fun fact: women have been able to vote for 100 years – Joe Biden has been in office for half of that.”

And on the Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon recapped Michelle Obama’s widely praised address on Monday night, in which she used Trump’s words against him. Calling Trump “the wrong president for our country”, Obama said he had had “more than enough time to prove that he can do the job, but he’s clearly in over his head. He cannot meet this moment. He simply cannot be who we need him to be for us. It is what it is.”Advertisement

“At that point, Donald Trump squeezed his Diet Coke can so hard it turned into a diamond,” said Fallon. “I’m serious, right after that, a doctor took Trump’s blood pressure and the cuff exploded.”

Trump was asked about Obama’s “in over his head” comment at an event celebrating the centennial of the 19th amendment, and responded: “She’s in over her head.”

“Oh, yeah, that’s a good comeback,” Fallon mocked. “That was her insult against you. You can’t use her insult – every third-grader who can’t go back to school the next day knows that.”