Former First Lady Michelle Obama may be riding high of the record-breaking success of her memoir Becoming, and the upcoming Netflix documentary that goes by the same title, but during the film, she opens up about the frustration she still feels when it comes to the low voter turnout during the 2016 election.
According to The Daily Beast, a first look of Obama’s new film shows the former First Lady reflecting on Hillary Clinton’s defeat against Donald Trump in 2016.
Many spectators noted her visible disappointment during Trump’s inauguration and wondered what she was thinking. The mother of two now concedes that Trump’s victory felt like a direct rebuke of Barack Obama’s administration and the coalition created to make him victorious in 2008 and 2012.
“It takes some energy to go high, and we were exhausted from it. Because when you are the first Black anything…” she said. “So the day I left the White House and I write about how painful it was to sit on that [inauguration] stage. A lot of our folks didn’t vote. It was almost like a slap in the face.”
To her point, Clinton’s campaign saw noticeable dips in voter support amongst African-Americans, Hispanics, and voters under 30 compared to Obama in 2012. In fact, turnout by Black voters fell by seven percentage points between 2012 and 2016, which is the first time that had occurred in 20 years.
“I understand the people who voted for Trump,” Obama said. “The people who didn’t vote at all, the young people, the women, that’s when you think, man, people think this is a game.”
“It wasn’t just in this election,” she clarified. “Every midterm. Every time Barack didn’t get the Congress he needed, that was because our folks didn’t show up. After all that work, they just couldn’t be bothered to vote at all. That’s my trauma.”
The Daily Beast, who first reported the story, has come under fire for a misleading headline that insinuated Obama was only mad at Black voters. Due to public outcry, they have since changed the headline to more accurately depict what she said. But many say they believe the damage was already done.
Good to see @thedailybeast changed its headline to be slightly less misleading, but the damage has already been done. Pro-Trump and anti-democratic forces will do everything they can to depress voter turnout by spreading disinfo and discord. pic.twitter.com/hYDXweyFwX
— Kyle Herman 🗽 (@herman_kyle) May 5, 2020
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