1. The evolution of Obama and Biden
President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have come a long way in eight years. Biden, who in 2007 infamously referred to Obama as the first “mainstream, articulate, and clean” African American, has repeatedly proven to be a staunch, unrelenting ally to the president.
From their informal and affectionate handshake at the beginning of the address, to Obama’s commitment to cancer research in an emotional nod to the tragic passing of Biden’s son, the authentic friendship between the president and vice president was on full display.
The American public has watched their working relationship develop into a deep, personal bond, and last night seemed to be the culmination of their eight-year journey from professional allies to life-long friends.
2. When Obama told the GOP presidential candidates to start acting like presidential candidates
Insiders had hinted that President Obama would be addressing the incendiary rhetoric coming from certain GOP Presidential candidates. Obama gave them a verbal spanking, admonishing their attempts to vilify Muslims while inserting a big brick wall between their xenophobic policies and American values:
“When politicians insult Muslims, when a mosque is vandalized or a kid bullied, that doesn’t make us safer.”
President Obama then made sure that everyone knew he was talking about the GOP candidates by using Chris Christie’s infamous “Tell it like it is” mantra against him:
“That’s not telling it like it is. It’s just wrong. It diminishes us in the eyes of the world. It makes it harder to achieve our goals. And it betrays who we are as a country.”
And as if he hadn’t shamed the GOP candidates enough, the POTUS also threw in a Pope Francis quote:
“To imitate the hatred and violence of tyrants and murderers is the best way to take their place.”
3. The “Just Ask Osama” mic drop moment
Republicans have spent the last eight years pushing a narrative that casts President Obama as weak and unprepared in regard to foreign policy. They have accused him of putting his agenda before the safety of our country and not taking the necessary actions to effectively combat terrorism.
Last night, Obama answered these accusations with one succinct but scathing sentence:
“If you doubt America’s commitment — or mine — to see that justice is done, ask Osama bin Laden.”
As evidenced by the countless memes and gifs that followed President Obama’s thinly veiled threat, that portion of his address will surely live on in infamy.
4. The Dress
By now we’ve become accustomed to Michelle Obama’s impeccable style, but her daring wardrobe choice incited a social media frenzy. The FLOTUS chose a radiant marigold-colored Narciso Rodriguez dress, which sold out on NeimanMarcus.com before President Obama even finished speaking. The FLOTUS did not speak last night, but her radiant attire conveyed a message of optimism that was (literally) impossible to ignore, and desperately needed. To say that Michelle Obama’s style, grace, and exceptional intelligence will be missed is a gross understatement.