First Lady Michelle Obama delivered a moving speech Monday night at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, urging unification and speaking out against Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump‘s hate speech.
Dressed in an elegant blue dress, she walked onto stage to rousing applause and began by reflecting on the first time she spoke at the convention eight years ago, when she talked about why her husband should be president. She also talked about raising her children in the White House.
And then with great political aplomb, she dismantled Trump’s angry and divisive rhetoric, which have come to be hallmarks of his presidential campaign.
“Don’t let anyone tell you that America isn’t great. This right now is the greatest country on earth,” the first lady said.
Obama took the stage at the Wells Fargo Arena in Philadelphia facing a dual challenge: making the case for Hillary Clinton and defending her husband’s legacy.
“Our motto is, when they go low, we go high,” the first lady said, in a hardly-veiled shot at Republican nominee Donald Trump.
While the First Lady preached unity on Monday, she also may have helped deliver Black votes for Clinton. Do you agree? Sound off in comments.
Since the Obamas emerged nine years ago as President Obama catapulted from Illinois senator to leader of the free world, Michelle Obama has enjoyed unwavering support as one of the most popular first ladies ever.
Looking back to Obama’s 2008 convention speech, the First Lady struggled with her public image after pundits lambasted her for comments they viewed as anti-American. What followed was a controversial cover of The New Yorker and a press campaign to overhaul the negative rhetoric surrounding Obama and her legacy.
“I’m glad that she was selected to speak on the first night, the opening night of a historic convention,” Donna Brazile, the popular Democratic strategist turned interim DNC chairwoman, said in an interview with The Washington Post. “The country trusts her. People know she’s authentic and will be honest, and want to know what she thinks.”
According to The Post, Obama’s Monday night speech will outright endorse Hillary Clinton, who the First Lady has been somewhat distant from since the 2008 election.
Obama is expected to discuss the importance of the presidential role in relation to America’s children and how it inspires ethics and goal setting. Pundits also expect her to intertwine her working class upbringing, emerging as one of the most powerful women in the world, to Clinton’s trajectory and her fitness for the presidency.
The DNC hopes Obama will help rally the base of young voters who came out in droves during the last two elections. Obama remains popular among Democratic voters as a recent Pew Research Center reports 68 percent of voters who support Barack Obama gave him a rating of 76 or more on the 100-points scale, while 67 percent gave the same rating to Michelle Obama.
“She is there, in part, to be a coda and also to be a bridge,” said Andra Gillespie, according to the Post. Gillespie is a political scientist at Emory University. “She’s there to wrap up the Obama administration and provide a transition to what a Clinton presidency could be.”