Wow. If you saw Michelle Obama’s speech at the Democratic National Convention last night, you’re probably one of many still shaking their heads in awe.
Despite several outstanding speeches (Nancy Keenan, Julian Castro and Gov. Deval Patrick FTW), Michelle’s has been overwhelmingly marked as the best speech of the night — and arguably the best FLOTUS speech ever given. Yes, it was marinated in mom talk (as was the entire night, really), but she spoke a truth with such transparency, integrity and hope — which is exactly what America needs right now. Reports say it took her a month to write the speech herself, but despite as long as it may have taken, this was undoubtably the speech of her life. And my first reason for why she would be a better president than Mitt Romney is really the reason why I wanted to write this post:
1. She didn’t utter Mitt Romney’s name but completely destroyed him. Really, she transcended him. Her personal story of her life and love with Obama and the shared values they have, and how Barack brings his values and life experiences into his leadership, not only connects with people on an incredibly deep level, but also so subtly and ingeniously counters the alternative of Mitt Romney, his values and who he is not: ”We learned about dignity and decency – that how hard you work matters more than how much you make…that helping others means more than just getting ahead yourself. We learned about honesty and integrity – that the truth matters…that you don’t take shortcuts or play by your own set of rules…and success doesn’t count unless you earn it fair and square.” Boom.
2. She’s more popular as FLOTUS than Mitt as aspiring POTUS. At its peak, Michelle received 28,003 tweets per minute last night — nearly two times the peak of Mitt Romney’s RNC speech at 14,289 tweets per minute.
3. This. ”[Barack] believes that women are more than capable of making our own choices about our bodies and our health care…that’s what my husband stands for.”
4. She inspires. “If farmers and blacksmiths could win independence from an empire…if immigrants could leave behind everything they knew for a better life on our shores…if women could be dragged to jail for seeking the vote…if a generation could defeat a depression, and define greatness for all time…if a young preacher could lift us to the mountaintop with his righteous dream…and if proud Americans can be who they are and boldly stand at the altar with who they love…then surely, surely we can give everyone in this country a fair chance at that great American Dream. Because in the end, more than anything else, that is the story of this country – the story of unwavering hope grounded in unyielding struggle.” In his lifetime, Mitt Romney will never say anything close to as moving as this passage.
5. She embodied “the personal is political.” Irin says it: “That reprise of the shopworn feminist slogan — ‘the personal is political’ — was the essential premise of her entire speech. In a cloyingly theatrical modern tradition, first ladies attend the national conventions to testify about biography, not policy; they talk about the man as they only know him. But Michelle Obama managed to effortlessly marshal both to tell a story about change in America — with the promise of more to come — and to deliver her speech transcendently.”
Okay, maybe 6 reasons: She walked off the stage to Beyonce’s “Get Me Bodied.” Done and done. Really, just watch/read the entire speech. Now.
(Video after the jump. Transcript here.)