President Obama delivered a rousing farewell address to the Democratic National Convention Wednesday night, culminating in a surprise visit by Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
Clinton hugged the president and the two walked to both sides of the stage and waved to the raucous crowd without comment before leaving.
The grand exit capped a night of speeches by political heavyweights, including Obama, Vice President Joe Viden and VP nominee Tim Kaine, who formally accepted his nomination.
Introduction videosbefore both Biden’s and Obama’s entrances included video footage of their reactions to last year’s Supreme Court decision on marriage equality, bringing deafening cheers from the crowd. Kaine also included a nod to the LGBT community when talking about opportunity for all Americans, free from discrimination based on “who you love.”
Both Obama and Biden started their speeches praising their wives; the vice president laughing that he and Obama “married up,” and the president joking that Michelle “somehow hasn’t aged a day. The same can’t be said for me; my girls remind me all the time.”
Obama went on to review policy victories during his administration, including the Affordable Care Act and marriage equality, cautioning there is still “work to be done.”
Obama referenced ongoing racial tensions, poverty and violence, including the LGBT mass shooting in Orlando. However, he struck a note of positivity saying he’s seen success when Americans of all stripes, including those who are “gay or straight,” work together.
“We’re not done perfecting our union. We’re living up to our founding creed that all of us are created equal and all of us are free in the eyes of God,” he said. “That work involves a big choice this November.”
Biden’s speech had a few humorous turns, as the crowd echoed “not a clue” to his comment about Trump, and tearful moments as Biden spoke about his late son, whose wife was in the audience. But he focused mostly on outlining Trump’s lack of experience, especially on foreign policy, shouting in anger at times and pleading quietly for voters to aid in defeating him at others.
Biden painted Clinton as a friend to the middle class, saying she understands struggles everyday Americans face like college finances, health-care costs and caring for ailing parents.
Clinton, Biden said, is the candidate who embodies the virtues of the country.
“We lead not only by the example of our power but by the power of our example,” he said. “This is the history of the journey of America, and God willing, Hillary Clinton will write the next chapter in that journey.”