Former President Barack Obama was greeted by legions of faithful supporters during his speech at a rally for Michigan Democrats in Detroit on Saturday.
In an example of just how faithful those supporters are, one group of women who appeared to be Black “aunties” and were ready to shoot their shot at the 44th president — and we don’t mean an assassination attempt.
Obama appeared inside a crowded gymnasium at Detroit Renaissance High School to help mobilize Democrats with just 10 days to go until Election Day and spoke following an address from Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who is up for reelection.
The former president encouraged the crowd to vote and during a moment of candor (and levity) suggested his age might affect his ability to campaign effectively on candidates’ behalf.
“I have to admit that sometimes going out on the campaign trail feels a little harder than it used to,” Obama began. “Not just because I’m older and grayer…”
But Obama was cut off by several of the “aunties” sitting directly behind him who openly disagreed with his sentiment and assured him that he is “fine.”
Obama turned around before calling the audience’s attention to the “aunties” as the crowd broke out into laughter.
He asked the women to repeat themselves, a request they eagerly obliged, prompting Obama to turn back around with a huge grin across his face.
Seemingly slightly embarrassed, Obama stuttered, “I’m not gonna tell Michelle you said that.”
After a slight pause, Obama added of his wife: “Although, Michell does agree.”
Watch the scene unfold below.
To be sure, the term “aunties” does not carry a negative connotation and, as the Atlantic reminded us back in April, “An ‘auntie’ in popular parlance is defined by being independent, attractive, and powerful.
That wasn’t the only time Obama’s speech was interrupted on Saturday.
During his speech, an apparent heckler prompted a visibly exasperated Obama to respond.
Obama was discussing just how problematic the would-be kidnappers of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer are when he was interrupted by someone yelling, “Mr. President.”
Gesturing to the man, Obama says, “Come on!”
Apparently likening the heckler to opponents of Democrats, Obama said, “This is what I mean, we are having a conversation.”
Then, Obama effectively had his latest mic drop moment at the heckler’s expense.
“Sir, sir, sir. sir, this is what I’m saying. Look, we’ve got a process that we set up in our democracy. Right now, I’m talking, you’ll have a chance to talk sometime later,” Obama said to cheers. “We like each other, we don’t have to shout each other down — it’s not a good way to do business. You wouldn’t do that in the workplace. We wouldn’t just interrupt people having a conversation. It’s not how we do things.”
Obama’s speech in Michigan came less than 24 hours after he appeared as a keynote speaker at a rally for Democrats in Georgia, where U.S. Senate incumbent candidate Sen. Raphael Warnock and gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams also gave remarks.
It is part of an overall effort by Obama to campaign with key candidates as democrats fight to maintain control of both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate.
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