“Do not let them take away your power,” Obama said. “Don’t let them take away your democracy.”
Lacking an audience and its usual roaring applause, the former president sounded at times like a disappointed father. Donald Trump was once just a joke to Obama, a “carnival barker” who he famously mocked at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner as Trump sat and glared. The humor in Trump has disappeared now, but for his first few years out of office, Obama held back on his successor as he kept away from the near-daily controversies and scandals emanating from the White House.
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Obama sounded aggressive and critical of Trump
During his speech, Barack Obama took President Trump on much more directly, and more aggressively than any ex-president has criticized his successor in recent political memory. Obama sounded scared in his speech. “For close to four years now,” Obama said, “he’s shown no interest in putting in the work; no interest in finding common ground; zero interest in using the awesome power of his office to help anyone but himself and his friends; no interest in treating the presidency as anything but one more reality show that he can use to get the attention he craves.”