Former President Obama has a way with words.

By Jennifer Calfas
Updated August 16, 2017
Barack Obama
2016 Getty Images
| Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

When tragedy struck in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend as a white supremacist and neo-Nazi rally turned from violent to deadly, former President Barack Obama shared a quote on Twitter that struck a cord with many Americans.

The tweet resonated so much that it quickly became the most-liked Twitter post of all time, with more than 3.5 million likes and counting.

Obama, who has 94.3 million Twitter followers, shared a quote from the iconic former South African leader Nelson Mandela, whose anti-apartheid message changed his country, along with a photo of the former commander in chief smiling at four young children who were gathered behind a windowsill. The quote, which Obama continued in two additional tweets, is from Mandela's biography Long Walk to Freedom.

"No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite," the quote that Obama shared reads.

The message of unity took only three days to surpass the previous most-liked tweet, which was posted in late May by singer Ariana Grande in wake of the Manchester terror attack at her concert. In the post, Grande shared her sorrow following the deadly suicide bombing.

"broken," Grande wrote. "from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don't have words."

That tweet, posted on May 22, received 2.7 million likes. Since then, Grande raised millions of dollars for the victims of the tragedy with a benefit concert in Manchester.

And while the top two tweets focus on tragedies, the third most-liked tweet is much more light-hearted. Ellen DeGeneres's famous Oscars selfie from 2014—filled with stars like Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Bradley Cooper, Brad Pitt, Kevin Spacey and Julia Roberts, among others—has more than 2.4 million likes.

But Obama doesn't just have the most-liked tweet of all time—his messages are also featured twice more on the top five list. The former president's positive message to Arizona Sen. John McCain, who ran against Obama for the presidency in 2008 and has recently been diagnosed with brain cancer, earned more than 2 million likes.

And his return to his personal Twitter account on Jan. 20, 2017, after his tenure in the White House concluded, received more than 1.8 million likes.