Former First Lady Michelle Obama has paid tribute to Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris in a powerful statement on Instagram. Obama congratulated Harris on becoming the "first Black and Indian-American woman vice president."
"I'm beyond thrilled that my friend Joe Biden and our first Black and Indian-American woman Vice President, Kamala Harris, are headed to restore some dignity, competence, and heart at the White House," Obama wrote on Instagram.
"Our country sorely needs it. 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. 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."
"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."
"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. 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. So 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."
"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. My warmest congratulations again to Joe and Jill, Kamala and Doug — and each of you who stepped up when your country needed you."
Former president Barack Obama also took to Instagram to congratulate President-Elect Biden's victory.
"I could not be prouder to congratulate our next President, Joe Biden, and our next First Lady, Jill Biden," Obama wrote.
"I also couldn’t be prouder to congratulate Kamala Harris and Doug Emhoff for Kamala’s groundbreaking election as our next Vice President. In this election, under circumstances never experienced, Americans turned out in numbers never seen. And once every vote is counted, President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris will have won a historic and decisive victory."
"We’re fortunate that Joe’s got what it takes to be President and already carries himself that way. Because when he walks into the White House in January, he’ll face a series of extraordinary challenges no incoming President ever has – a raging pandemic, an unequal economy and justice system, a democracy at risk, and a climate in peril. I know he’ll do the job with the best interests of every American at heart, whether or not he had their vote."
"So I encourage every American to give him a chance and lend him your support. The election results at every level show that the country remains deeply and bitterly divided. It will be up to not just Joe and Kamala, but each of us, to do our part – to reach out beyond our comfort zone, to listen to others, to lower the temperature and find some common ground from which to move forward, all of us remembering that we are one nation, under God."
"Finally, I want to thank everyone who worked, organized, and volunteered for the Biden campaign, every American who got involved in their own way, and everybody who voted for the first time. Your efforts made a difference. Enjoy this moment. Then stay engaged. I know it can be exhausting. But for this democracy to endure, it requires our active citizenship and sustained focus on the issues – not just in an election season, but all the days in between. Our democracy needs all of us more than ever. And Michelle and I look forward to supporting our next President and First Lady however we can."