Election 2017

Philly loves Michelle Obama: The four lines that drew the biggest cheers

She wouldn’t mention Donald Trump by name.

Michelle Obama addressed Philadelphia high school and college students at La Salle University Sept. 28, 2016.

Michelle Obama addressed Philadelphia high school and college students at La Salle University Sept. 28, 2016.

@indya219 / Instagram

Anytime somebody mentioned Michelle Obama before she came on stage, the audience shrieked. Councilwoman Cindy Bass name-dropped her, as did Senate candidate Katie McGinty. Attorney General candidate Josh Shapiro went so far as to say she was in the building. That really got the crowd going.

And when Michelle Obama finally came to the stage? The crowd packed into LaSalle’s Tom Gola Arena featuring plenty of LaSalle and Girls High students, reacted like this:

Her appearance basically took place in a gym. It almost felt like a concert, with shrieks coming from the crowd in the way you might expect for a pop star. And these are the comments from the First Lady that made the audience go wild. 

When she dissed Trump

They weren’t officially Trump disses. That’s because Obama didn’t call Donald Trump by name during the entirety of her nearly 30-minute speech (she used the same strategy at the DNC). Instead she went for the subtle approach. She called him “the candidate” or sidestepped mentioning him at all.

“The presidency doesn’t change who you are,” she said. “It reveals who you are. And the same is true of a U.S. presidential campaign. If a candidate is erratic and threatening, if a candidate thinks that not paying taxes makes you smart or thinks it’s good business when people lose their homes…well sadly that’s who that candidate really is. That’s the kind of president they will be. And trust me a candidate is not going to change in office.”

There was also the time she casually brought up Trump’s reality TV background.

“We know that the presidency isn’t anything like reality TV,” she said. “It isn’t an apprenticeship.”

When she talked about the importance of young people’s votes

Obama said a vote for a candidate other than Hillary Clinton or the decision not to vote would only benefit “Hillary’s opponent.” She was especially targeting the college and high school students in attendance and said voters under age 30 in battleground states “provided a victory for Barack in four battleground states.”

Obama said those four were Virginia, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania: “Without those states, Barack would have lost the election. Period.”

When she stressed Hillary’s potential to make history

Like Obama’s husband has many times, she called Clinton the most qualified presidential candidate in history.

“Nobody has had as much exposure to the presidency as Hillary,” she said. “Not Barack. Not Bill. And yes, she happens to be a woman.”

When she talked about Trump’s failed birther movement

Again, Obama didn’t mention Trump by name. But just a few minutes into her speech, she started talking about the years he spent questioning whether Barack Obama was born in the United States. She called those questions hurtful and deliberately designed to sabotage his presidency.

She then mentioned how Barack Obama brought an improved economy, healthcare and LGBT equality among other achievements.

“He’s answered those questions with the progress we’ve achieved together,” she said.

Want some more? Explore other Election 2017 stories.

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