August 20, 2020

Joy Reid and Nicolle Wallace reacted to President Barack Obama's speech last night, and Wallace really went deep and thoughtful in her take.

"Let me say this about Obama. I have a hunch that every living former president would speak from the same deep well of despair," Wallace said.

"Obama's speech shook me because of his despair laid bare. And if you had been the president you probably feel, you probably have a well of theory that started the first day of the transition, when Donald Trump and his son tried to set up a back channel to Russia to go around the intelligence community. By the way, there are a bunch of stars at the CIA from members of the intelligence community that died protecting this country's national security. First thing that Trump did when he won was to liken them to Nazis.

"So we cannot fathom the fury and the despair and the rage that every former living president -- I'm going to out on a limb and say the dead ones, too -- feel when they watch President Trump. And I've not seen any living president tap that well of despair and be vulnerable enough to share it with the country, but is my theory of the case of what President Obama did tonight.

"And the gift it gave Senator Harris, the vice presidential campaign exists in three acts. The first is the announcement speech. the second is the convention speech. And the third is the vice presidential debate. By Obama doing what he did and being that vulnerable and sharing that urgent call to action -- and I would guess he wrestled with whether or not to do that -- she was allowed to do -- I see her attacks as really nice.

"I think the reason she slays Bill Barr is because she does it with this velvet hammer. So I didn't see her as sort of putting aside the fierceness to be nice. I think she is always all things, and I don't think any woman should have to compartmentalize herself. I'm from the Bay area, too, and I've grown up knowing her and watching her and watching all the women around her. So to see all them there, it just let her tell that part of her story, but I think that this convention story telling is second to none. I actually think that the stories they have told have built this drama that is Hollywood-like in its tension, in its despair, in its pain.

"I mean to make the pain that we have all felt if you love this country to watch what Donald Trump has done to it has been searing. it has been gutting. And to make that part of the case to the country is risky, and, you know, we won't know until Election Day if it works, but it is big and it is painful, and it is raw.

"And I just think that this Obama speech was one for the ages. And it let everybody else kind of go out and do what they be to do to tell the Biden story, but I think it's something we'll be talking about for a really long time," she concluded.

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