We knew it was only a matter of time before former President Barack Obama would endorse Joe Biden, his vice president.
It was widely assumed that Obama was merely Biden his time, if you’ll pardon the expression. Once Sen. Bernie Sanders hung up his spurs the path was cleared for Obama to announce his support for the presumptive nominee.
“Michelle and I hope that you and your families are safe and well,” Obama said during his endorsement of Biden. “If you’ve lost someone to this virus, or if someone in your life is sick, or if you’re one of the millions suffering economic hardship, please know that you’re in our prayers.”
He said that one the great things that “we’ve learned as a country from moments of great crisis, it’s that the spirit of looking out for one another can’t be restricted to our homes, or our workplaces, or our neighborhoods, or our houses of worship. It also has to be reflected in our national government.
“The kind of leadership that’s guided by knowledge and experience, honesty and humility; empathy and grace—that kind of leadership just doesn’t belong in our state capitols and mayors’ offices. It belongs in the White House.”
All of this was nice as a lead up to his endorsement of Biden, but it was also a telling commentary on the current administration and, without explicitly stating it, words that should be coming from Trump.
To be sure, we will hear a sharp rejoinder from Trump and his team, someway of minimizing the moment and shifting the attention to his re-election campaign, and at the same time disparaging Obama.
Ah, but the words honesty, humility, empathy and grace conjure the very things missing from Trump’s vocabulary, the very sentiments so absolutely required in these times of great fear and catastrophe.
If we allowed extensive space here for Obama it’s because what he said is what we miss most about his years in office; someone who in a brief statement can capture the dangers we face and salute the people no longer with us.
Wishing for Obama’s empathy will not remove the menace in our community, nor will it remove Trump from office, but that does not stop us from keeping hope alive and prompting our fondest wish—Make America Great Again—Trump Must Go!
(Reprinted from the NY Amsterdam News)