Monday marked day one of the highly anticipated Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Sen. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and ousted DNC Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz were among yesterday’s speakers. But it was first lady Michelle Obama’s eloquent, soul-stirring speech that ultimately stole the show.
In her prime time convention address, Obama publicly endorsed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for the the first time. Obama hasn’t always had warm regards for Clinton, as the former Secretary of State ran against her husband, Barack Obama, in the 2008 presidential election. Last night, the first lady sang a different tune, declaring, “In this election — I’m with her.”
“When she didn’t win the election eight years ago, she didn’t get angry or disillusioned,” Obama said of Clinton. “Hillary did not pack up and go home because as a true public servant, Hillary knows that this is so much bigger than her own desires and disappointments.”
“She proudly stepped up again to serve as Secretary of State,” Obama continued. “… She could have decided that she was tired of being picked apart for how she looks or how she talks or even how she laughs…Hillary Clinton has never quit on anything in her life.”
The first lady’s impassioned words rang throughout the Wells Fargo Arena as she stated her support for Clinton as the next president of the United States. Citing the former Secretary of State’s admirable character and temperament, Obama deemed Clinton the type of role model she would want her daughters to see occupy the Oval Office.
“Not Democrat or Republican, not left or right; this election, and every election is about who will have the power to shape our children for the next four to eight years of their lives,” Obama said. The only person “who I trust with that responsibility is our friend Hillary Clinton.”
Obama also touched on Clinton’s “lifelong devotion to our nation’s children — not just her own daughter – who she has raised to perfection, but every child who needs a champion.”
At one point during her speech, the first lady delved into the touchy subject of partisan politics where she condemned the hateful and divisive rhetoric often spewed by GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump. However, she never mentioned Trump’s name directly.
“Don’t let anyone tell you that this country isn’t great,” Obama said. “This right now is the greatest country on earth.”
“When I think about the kind of president I want for my girls and all our children, I want someone who knows that the issues a president faces are not black and white and can not be boiled down to 140 characters,” she continued. “Because when you have the nuclear codes at your fingertips and the military at your command, you can’t have a thin skin and a tendency to lash out. You need to be steady and well-informed.”
In the midst of her shade-throwing, the first lady lamented that political discourse has become all too harsh.
“Our motto is, ‘When they go low, we go high,’ ” she said in reference to “the hateful language that we hear from public figures on TV.”
Obama was briefly choked up with emotion as she recounted waking up in a house everyday that was built by enslaved Black Americans and watching her two daughters play with the family dogs on the White House lawn.
“Breaking glass ceilings is the story of this country,” she said. “The story of generations of people who felt the lash of bondage, the shame of servitude, the sting of segregation, but who kept striving and hoping and doing what needed to be done.”
The first lady’s speech was met with a standing ovation as the crowd rose to their feet, praising her for an address that epitomized eloquence and class. The POTUS even expressed how proud he was of his wife in the form of an affectionate tweet.
Incredible speech by an incredible woman. Couldn't be more proud & our country has been blessed to have her as FLOTUS. I love you, Michelle.
— President Obama (@POTUS) July 26, 2016
It should be noted that Obama’s speech was the only time unruly “Bernie or Bust” supporters were on their best behavior, as they booed a number of other speakers who approached the stage earlier in the program. Instead, many could be seen waving “Michelle” signs in support of the first lady.
But where there are supporters, there are always haters.
I will be honest: the Michelle Obama speech did absolutely nothing for me. No reaction, positive or negative #DemsInPhilly
— Scott Ruesterholz (@Read_N_Learn) July 26, 2016
Michelle Obama says they take the low road we take the high road. I guess she missed all the millions of $$ spent on negative Trump ads
— Dean Dupps (@DDupps) July 26, 2016
Michelle Obama really wasted opportunity. She looked lovely. Should not have gone negative. Should have just been pro-Hillary and upbeat.
— HillBuzz (@HillBuzz) July 26, 2016