Former First Lady Michelle Obama has been the picture of grace and class ever since she stepped into the spotlight, but the last five years or so would crack a saint. Obama managed to welcome Donald and Melania Trump into the White House even though Trump had spent years trying to undermine her husband’s presidency with his racist Birther conspiracy that claimed Barack Obama was not an American citizen.
She also managed, for the most part, to not say anything too explicitly critical of Trump in all the years since. While both she and Barack have campaigned for Joe Biden, they did not really go hard with attacks against Trump. That might be why it’s all the more satisfying to finally see Obama lose her patience.
In an Instagram post, the former First Lady called out how Trump’s refusal to concede the election is beyond the pale.
First, she explained how it was hard to see Hillary Clinton lose in 2016.
“This week, I’ve been reflecting a lot on where I was four years ago,” Obama wrote. “Hillary Clinton had just been dealt a tough loss by a far closer margin than the one we’ve seen this year. I was hurt and disappointed—but the votes had been counted and Donald Trump had won.”
She continued, “The American people had spoken. And one of the great responsibilities of the presidency is to listen when they do. So my husband and I 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.”
Then she explains how preparations were made to prepare the next president for his office via the official routes, something Trump’s administration has so far refused to do.
“I have to be honest and say that none of this was easy for me,” she added. “Donald Trump had spread racist lies about my husband that had put my family in danger. That wasn’t something I was 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.”
Of course, she did and spent time with Melania to share her experiences as First Lady. Obama says she did this because that’s how democracy works and “the presidency doesn’t belong to any one individual or any one party.”
Even if she wished things had gone differently, she accepted the results of the election when Trump won.
“…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 concluded. “This isn’t a game. So I want to urge all Americans, especially our nation’s leaders, 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.”
One thing that has always marked Donald Trump’s behavior is his naked animosity towards the Obamas, so it’s unlikely he’ll be moved by this post to concede. But Michelle Obama isn’t writing it for him—she’s writing it for the American people.