Barack Obama used his headlining speech on the third night of the 2016 Democratic National Convention to pass the baton to Hillary Clinton. "Join me to reject cynicism, reject fear, to summon what's best in us, to elect Hillary Clinton," the president said at the end of his speech before the Democratic presidential nominee joined him on stage.
The president opened up by calling back to his seminal 2004 DNC speech and surveying the progress of the past 12 years. "I stand before you again tonight, after almost two terms as president, to tell you I am more optimistic about the future of America than ever before," Obama said. "How could I not be?"
He listed the economic recovery following the recession, his implementation of health care reform, the killing of Osama bin Laden, and the legalization of gay marriage as some of the accomplishments of his administration before steering toward the future and making his case for Hillary Clinton to carry on his progressive agenda and legacy.
"Until you've sat at that desk, you don't know what it's like to manage a global crisis or send young people to war. But Hillary Clinton's been in the room; she's been part of those decisions. ...There has never been a man or a woman—not me, not Bill, not anybody—more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as president of the United States of America."
Of course, Obama had to take shots at Trump as well. When he brought up his name to a raucous round of boos, the president quipped. "Don't boo. Vote." Obama not only rebuked Trump as a candidate, but also as a member of the opposing party. "What we heard in Cleveland last week wasn't particularly Republican," he said. "And it sure wasn't conservative."
Obama continued that line by comparing Trump to a Republican icon: "Ronald Reagan called America 'a shining city on a hill.' Donald Trump calls it 'a divided crime scene' that only he can fix.'"
In a call for unity, Obama said, "We all need to be as vocal and as organized and as persistent as Bernie Sander's supporters have been in this election. We all need to get out and vote for Democrats up and down the ticket and then hold them accountable until they get the job done."
Sanders appeared pleased after Obama called out, "Feel the Bern."
Obama: FEEL THE BERN!!— Jessica Goodman (@jessgood) July 28, 2016
"If you're serious about democracy, you can't just stay home because she might not align with you on every issue," Obama said. "You've got to get in the arena with her because democracy isn't a spectator sport. America isn't about 'Yes we will.' It's about 'Yes we can.'"
Obama's keynote speech at the 2004 DNC made him a rising star for the Democrats and paved the way for him to be elected president in 2008. A dozen years later, the "O" in Barry O may as well stand for Orator-in-Chief.
Watch the speech entire speech above.