On Wednesday the official White House portraits of the 44th President, Democrat Barack Obama, and former First Lady Michelle Obama were unveiled during a ceremony in their former Washington DC residence.
Both the former POTUS and FLOTUS delivered remarks during the ceremony. While not mentioned by name, many felt Michelle Obama made a very pointed rebuke of former Republican President Donald Trump in her speech.
In her speech, Michelle Obama spoke of the importance of traditions.
You can watch an excerpt of her remarks here:
Michelle Obama stated:
"I never could have imagined that any of this will be part of my story, but even if it’s all still a bit awkward for me, I do recognize why moments like these are important, why all of this is absolutely necessary.”
"Traditions like this matter not just for those of us who hold these positions, but for everyone participating in and watching our democracy."
The former FLOTUS added:
"The people, they make their voices heard with their vote. We hold an inauguration to ensure a peaceful transition of power."
"Those of us lucky enough to serve work, as Barack said, as hard as we can for as long as we can, as long as the people choose to keep us here and once our time is up, we move on."
"And all that remains in this hallowed place are our good efforts and these portraits."
Pundits and the public alike are calling Michelle Obama's speech a swipe at Trump.
Democratic President Joe Biden shared a photo and message about the event on the official POTUS Twitter account.
President Biden tweeted:
"Barack and Michelle helped lift the American people's burden of fear with the blessing of hope."
"That’s the gift of the Obama presidency to history."
"And it’s a gift I felt personally."
"It was my honor to unveil their White House portraits today."
The Trump administration broke a longstanding tradition by refusing to unveil the Obama's portraits.
Many took the unveiling as an opportunity to speculate on what a Trump portrait might look like.
As much as I love the official portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama, I'll love it even more when Trump gets two o… https://t.co/JicbaRVoNj— Ryan Adams 🎞️🏳️🌈🌻🇺🇦 (@Ryan Adams 🎞️🏳️🌈🌻🇺🇦) 1662575466
The 45th President infamously refused to concede in 2020 after losing both the popular and electoral votes to Biden by a large margin.
Trump's Big Lie about his election loss was cited as a catalyst for the January 6, 2021 Capitol riot and attempted coup.
While many pointed to Michelle Obama's words as an indictment of Trump and the division his election lies created, she also stated:
"As much as some folks might want us to believe that that story has lost some of its shine, that division and discrimination and everything else might have dimmed its light, I still know deep in my heart that what we share, as my husband continues to say, is so much bigger than what we don’t."
"Our democracy is so much stronger than our differences."