Michelle Obama Warns of Hard Work Ahead: 'Tens of Millions' Voted for 'Lies, Hate, Chaos'

"Voting in one election isn't a magic wand, and neither is winning one," Michelle Obama wrote after Joe Biden and Kamala Harris' historic win

Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden
Michelle Obama and Joe Biden. Photo: Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty

Michelle Obama is reminding Americans that President-elect Joe Biden’s victory over President Donald Trump is only the beginning.

As the former first lady congratulated Biden on Saturday, she also reflected on the hard road ahead when it comes to bridging the divide across America.

“I’m beyond thrilled that my friend @JoeBiden and our first Black and Indian-American woman Vice President, @KamalaHarris, are headed to restore some dignity, competence, and heart at the White House. Our country sorely needs it,” Mrs. Obama wrote at the start of a lengthy statement shared on social media.

“Thank you to all of you who poured every ounce of your hope and determination into this democracy over these past four years, registering voters, getting them to the polls, keeping folks informed. More votes were cast in this election than ever before. It’s because of you,” she added. “And after we celebrate — and we should all take a moment to exhale after everything we’ve been through — let’s remember that this is just a beginning. It’s a first step. Voting in one election isn’t a magic wand, and neither is winning one.”

Joe Biden, Kamala Harris
President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Maya Harris/Twitter

Mrs. Obama went on to point out that tens of millions of Americans voted for Biden, President Trump also received millions of votes. (Biden has received 50.6 percent of the popular vote so far, with over 74 million votes, according to the Associated Press).

“Let’s remember that tens of millions of people voted for the status quo, even when it meant supporting lies, hate, chaos, and division. We’ve got a lot of work to do to reach out to these folks in the years ahead and connect with them on what unites us,” the former first lady wrote.

“But we’ve also got to recognize that the path to progress will always be uphill. We’ll always have to scrape and crawl up toward that mountaintop. And two years from now, four years from now, there will once again be no margin for error,” she added. “We see now the reality that we can’t take even the tiniest part of our democracy for granted. Every single vote must count — and every single one of us must vote. And as a country, we should be making it easier, not harder to cast a ballot.”

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Mrs. Obama also encouraged the country to continue the fight for justice and not sink into a state of complacency. “It’s up to us to stay engaged and informed, to keep speaking out and marching on. We’ve got to vote in even greater numbers in the upcoming Senate runoffs in Georgia—and every state and local election going forward,” she continued.

“We’ve got to promise each other that our focus in this election won’t be an anomaly, but the rule. That’s how we can not only feel this way right now, but in the months and years ahead. It’s the only way we’ll build a nation worthy of our children,” she added. “My warmest congratulations again to Joe and Jill, Kamala and Doug—and each of you who stepped up when your country needed you.”

Her husband Barack Obama shared his own statement, saying he "couldn't be prouder" of his friend and former vice president.

Mrs. Obama also went on to reflect on the emotional moment CNN anchor Van Jones teared up while announcing the breaking news. "It's easier to be a parent this morning. It's easier to be a dad — it's easier to tell your kids 'character matters' — it matters," Jones said.

“Van, thank you for expressing the sorrow and relief that we all feel,” Mrs. Obama wrote on social media. “My hope is that those who hoped for a different outcome will take a moment to empathize with the pain so many of us have felt over the past four years.”

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