If words could describe the atmosphere at the Democratic National Convention as First Lady Michelle Obama walked to the lectern they would be; exciting, energetic, electric, anticipating and exhilarating. The night in Charlotte witnessed a cacophony of criticisms leveled at the Republican nominee Mitt Romney from the likes of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro and Newark Mayor Cory Booker. However when the First Lady spoke she spoke like no other spoke between the Republican and Democratic Conventions, speaking about what America truly is and how her husband, President Obama has made decisions based on his character. Not once speaking about her husband’s opponent, she touched on the meaning of being a man by telling the story of her own father, Fraser Robinson III.
Michelle Obama maintained a dignified speech akin to her predecessor, Mayor Castro. Instead of attacking the Republican Party, she gave a message of relating to the American people that know struggle and hope for dreams. She told the story of her father, a pump operator at the city water plant in Chicago and in spite of his struggles with multiple sclerosis, was determined to provide an education for Michelle and her brother Craig Robinson.
Her story intermingled with that of the president who also came from a household that struggled and yet overcame the odds of success. She said, “But when Barack started telling me about his family – that’s when I knew I had found a kindred spirit, someone whose values and upbringing were so much like mine.”
Barack and Michelle Obama’s story is a stark contrast from the background presented by Mitt and Anne Romney at the Republican National Convention. The Romney’s, who were raised in affluent households, have campaigned on their wealth and societal stature that have been criticized as out of touch with the middle and working class Americans.
As many Americans struggle in this economic downturn, the road to recovery has been paved with a few bumps and sharp turns. With unemployment above 8%, the president will need to provide a clear and concise picture of what he will do once re-elected. The First Lady provided a glimpse into what the president will address when he speaks on Thursday night. Michelle Obama said her husband was the “same man” that she met before he became the president.
Reaching back four years earlier, Michelle Obama recounted her anxiety of the potential election win and how it would affect their family. She said, “And standing before you four years ago, I knew that I didn’t want any of that to change if Barack became President.” She added, “Well, today, after so many struggles and triumphs and moments that have tested my husband in ways I never could have imagined, I have seen firsthand that being president doesn’t change who you are – it reveals who you are.”
Michelle Obama captured the evening as shots of attendees showed a hope of a better America. Pivoting, she turned her focus to student loan debt reflecting when she and her husband had to focus their earnings on the loans over other expenses recently paying them off. She also spoke of hardships and which made more convincing as those struggles related to the middle-class struggles.
Speaking about her most important title as “mom-in-chief” the First Lady became emotional choking back tears saying, “My daughters are still the heart of my heart and the center of my world.”
Michelle Obama concluded, “I know from experience that if I truly want to leave a better world for my daughters, and all our sons and daughters… if we want to give all our children a foundation for their dreams and opportunities worthy of their promise… if we want to give them that sense of limitless possibility – that belief that here in America, there is always something better out there if you’re willing to work for it, then we must work like never before… and we must once again come together and stand together for the man we can trust to keep moving this great country forward… my husband, our President, President Barack Obama. Thank you. God bless you, and God bless America.”