Tuesday, August 26, 2008

DNC Opening Night Part II: Michelle Obama Knocks it out of the Park

[Democratic National Convention] Michelle Obama owned the Pepsi Convention center last night. She brought personality, power and message with only one crack in the speech to speak of, when it came to tipping the hat to ol' Hillary.

Michelle Obama opened the speech by making it personal, drawing the audience in with the example of her father. A blue collar man who worked hard all his life in a Chicago water filtration plant to put his brother through college. An everyday example of courage who struggled in the last years of his life with multiple sclerosis. “He was our champion. If he was in pain he never let on. Even while struggling to button his own shirt. He would just wake up a littler earlier and work a little harder," Michelle said. "Even struggling with two canes just to cross the room to kiss our mother."

Michelle emphasized that her tradition and Barack’s were working class. It was an important point and worth mentioning that while both she and Barack had educations and opportunities to work in high paying law firms they rededicated themselves to working in low income neighborhoods. for Michelle it meant giving back to her community. For Barack it meant community activism in Chicago neighborhoods devastated by the loss of Steel manufacturing plants.

Their backgrounds may be different to some but their goals and their dreams were common. "All of us driven by the belief that the world as it is just won't do."

This message they hoped to relate to all Americans.

“My piece of the American dream, is made from the same conviction that drives men and women all across this country,” Michelle said. From parents struggling with two jobs to “the military families who say grace each night with an empty seat at the table,” Michelle made the case that her and her husband were part of a larger American family. “Barrack doesn’t care where you’re from, he knows the thread that connects all of us.”

The speech was killer. With only one really tense moment. Some might say it was where she said “that’s why I love this country.” I don’t. You could tell she meant it. The only awkward moment was when speaking of heroes Michelle said, “like Hillary Clinton.”

The moment received immediate, roaring applause. But there was something wrong. Almost imperceptible. It wasn’t insincerity, it was a moment of just tense almost over-focused poise. Michelle knew what was at stake and knew it had to be natural the way she delivered this simple praise. Unfortunately the white knuckle grip she had on trying to confidently and assuredly deliver this praise, effectively choked out any natural delivery.

This moment however was but one crack in a speech that I think should connect with many blue-collar and disenchanted democrats. That is, if they were listening. (Eric S. Peterson)


  1. Thanks for basically writing the exact same thing that every other - most of whom are much, MUCH better writers - political commentator in America wrote this morning. I'm pretty amazed that the CW sent you to Denver when it is well documented that you know nothing about national politics. Oh well...

  2. anonymous is a doucheAugust 26, 2008 at 12:50 PM

    Good one anonymous, and way to go on the record, too. I enjoyed Peterson's commentary, particularly about the pre-game show. I'm assuming anonymous is either one of the guys whose been burned in one of Peterson's recent articles. Either that, or just a certifiable asshole. Go back to watching the Price is Right, its probably the most you have to contribute to society.

    Jim Ritter


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