The opening night of one of the most historic Democratic National Conventions in American history had a controversial diversity of peaks and valleys. With the previous leak of DNC committee emails that indicated an unfair preference of Hillary Clinton over her competitor during the primaries, Bernie supporters broke out in frustrated outrage during the early moments of the convention, even chanting that it was either “Bernie or Bust” despite Sanders’ desperate pleas for them to be supportive of the Democratic nominee.
Nevertheless, the one impassioned speech that stole the night undoubtedly belonged to our First Lady, Michelle Obama. Mrs. Obama spoke with incredulous grace and humility, uniting the party that was previously divided by political preferences with love and compassion. Her speech was so powerful that even the Republican nominee admitted approval, although it would be politically unwise to comment negatively since his wife plagiarized parts of Michelle Obama’s 2008 DNC speech just last week.
Mrs. Obama’s speech offers the following highlights:
Michelle Obama largely focused her speech on how this presidential election would influence children all across America. She spoke passionately from the perspective of a mother who wanted to guarantee a brighter future for her children and made an eloquent case on why she trusts Hillary Clinton to be the best upholder of that faith. She first delivered personal insight on her own ideologies as a mother and how she strives to inspire and guide her children as they become greater women. Mrs. Obama then extended this concept to include all children of the United States, reminding us that children look up to their role models and how unfortunate it would be if these children cannot even see a certain level of decency in the sole parent of their country. Mrs. Obama allows us to imply her reference to Donald Trump without ever mentioning his name. Her own delivery choices resonate with this remarkable quotation from her speech: “How we explain that when someone is cruel or acts like a bully, you don’t stoop to their level. Our motto is, when they go low, we go high.”
Michelle Obama continued to expand on the reasons behind her endorsement of Hillary Clinton by reminding us of the values that unite the American people and how there is only one candidate who is capable of defending those beliefs. She urges Democrats and Americans all over the globe to unite and become stronger together. For many listeners, the most moving moment of the night comes when Michelle Obama says: “So that today, I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves. And I watch my daughters—two beautiful, intelligent, black young women—play with their dogs on the White House lawn.” With that statement, she reminds us of what the American Dream is truly about and how we must not allow for that hope to be violated. When she reminds us of the time when Hillary Clinton lost the 2008 presidential nomination and how Hillary did not allow that to prevent her from moving forward and serving her country, she is referencing to the loss of Bernie Sanders and how a single politician’s desires and supporter base should never get in the way of party unification.
Finally, Michelle Obama makes the case for Hillary Clinton by elaborating on the duties and powers of the presidency and how they must never fall into the hands of one who makes whimsical decisions. She cleverly describes the POTUS as someone who “has the nuclear codes at (their) fingertips” and “the military at (their) command”, and asserts that the commander-in-chief must have the ability to take the great responsibility that comes with that great power. With a few simple and elegant words, Michelle Obama unveils the ardent danger that is so close to us and pleads that we exercise our democratic rights to prevent that from ever happening.
That night, Michelle Obama has affirmed, once again, her undeniable position as one of the best speakers of our time. She is truly a presidential spouse with grace, grit, integrity, and timeless beauty. With her words of courage, she inspires millions of children, including me, to speak out and defend the values that we hold so close to our hearts. Michelle Obama taught us to be brave against bigotry and cruelty; that we too can earn our places in the world with hard work and honesty. Michelle Obama not only showed the world what it means to be American, but also what it means to be human. Mrs. Obama has done a phenomenal job as FLOTUS and it will surely be interesting to see President Bill Clinton follow in these tracks.
By Margaret Lu