Washington: Hillary Clinton is "absolutely ready" to be the US' commander-in-chief on day one as the Democratic presidential nominee and former secretary of state has more experience and exposure than any candidate "in our lifetime", First Lady Michelle Obama has said.
During a rare joint appearance with Clinton at a North Carolina election rally yesterday, Michelle contrasted Clinton's vision of a "powerful, vibrant and strong" nation with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's vision of "hopelessness and despair".
"I am out here first and foremost because we have never had a more qualified and prepared candidate for president than our friend Hillary Clinton. Never before in our lifetime. I say this everywhere I go," she said.
"I admire and respect Hillary. She has been a lawyer, a law professor, First Lady of Arkansas, First Lady of the US, a US Senator, secretary of state. She has more experience and exposure to the presidency than any candidate in our lifetime. Yes, more than Barack (Obama). More than Bill (Clinton). So she is absolutely ready to be commander-in-chief on day one. And yes, she happens to be a woman," Michelle said yesterday.
In the past few weeks, Michelle, 52, has emerged as a strong advocate of Clinton, 69, and has made several impressive speeches in some of the key battle ground states.
"It takes a level of generosity of spirit to do what Hillary has done in her career, in her life, for our family, for this nation. If people wonder, yes, Hillary Clinton is my friend. She has been a friend to mine and Barack, Malia, Sasha and Bill and Chelsea have been embracing and supportive from the very day my husband took the oath of office," she said.
The First Lady called this election unprecedented.
"I do not think we have ever had two candidates with such dramatically different visions of who we are and how we move forward as a nation.
"One candidate has a vision that is grounded in hopelessness and despair, a vision of a country that is weak and divided, where our communities are in chaos, our fellow citizens a threat. This candidate calls on us to turn against each other, to build walls, to be afraid," Michelle said without mentioning Trump, 70.
"And then there is Hillary's vision for this country that you just heard, a vision of a nation that is powerful and vibrant and strong, big enough to have a place for all of us, a nation where we each have something very special to contribute and where we are always stronger together.
"That is the choice we face between those who divide this country into us versus them and those who tell us to embrace our better angels and choose hope over fear," she said.
Michelle said this year's election is not about Republicans versus Democrats, but about something much bigger.
"We know the influence our president has on our children, how they turn on the TV and they see the most powerful role model in the world, someone who shows them how to treat others, how to deal with disappointment, whether to tell the truth," Michelle added.