Michelle's Night

First Lady Michelle Obama speaks during the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia , Monday, July 25
First Lady Michelle Obama speaks during the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia , Monday, July 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

It was supposed to be Bernie's night. He was the final speaker of the opening day of the Democratic Convention. And he delivered. The standing ovation Senator Sanders received from the crowd seemed to go on forever, and he did what he was supposed to do: he finally gave the Democratic nominee an enthusiastic endorsement and told his supporters, "Hillary Clinton must become the next president."

But there is no doubt that the night belonged to the eloquent and elegant Michelle Obama. For years to come, this convention will be remembered for her brilliant speech, and her pitch perfect delivery. And there will be many orators tempted to lift her words.

It's no wonder Melania Trump admires the First Lady. As political pundit Van Jones said on CNN Monday night, "If you weren't moved by that, go see a doctor."

And if you weren't already in love with Michelle before the convention, you couldn't help fall in love with her Monday night.

In one powerful, optimistic, address, Michelle Obama obliterated every angry, doom and gloom speech of the Republican Convention. She did it without naming Donald Trump. And she did it with more class than that man, or any man or woman at the "lock-her-up" convention will ever know in their lifetimes. Class, composure, and intelligence flow through Michelle Obama like blood flows through the rest of us.

She summed up the differences between the Republican and Democratic campaigns and conventions with her now famous words, "When they go low, we go high." Memes starring that quote were all over Facebook Tuesday.

But Mrs. Obama's most memorable moments were those about an America built on diversity, an America she shares with her husband, as well as so many other citizens.

That is the story of this country, the story that has brought me to this stage tonight, the story of generations of people who felt the lash of bondage, the shame of servitude, the sting of segregation, but who kept on striving and hoping and doing what needed to be done 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, playing with their dogs on the White House lawn. And because of Hillary Clinton, my daughters and all our sons and daughters now take for granted that a woman can be president of the United States.

Her delivery was emotional, but even. She didn't shout at the crowd, and she didn't stumble. And she told an audience waving purple Michelle signs that it had an obligation to fight for Hillary Clinton, as she had fought for us, and our children, for so many years.

When we go to the polls in November, Mrs. Obama said, it's not an election between Democrat and Republican. "This election and every election is about who will have the power to shape our children for the next four or eight years of their lives."

Mrs. Obama went on to explain why Mrs. Clinton is the candidate who should do that. And she summed it up with these words: "There is only one person who I trust with that responsibility, one person who I believe is truly qualified to be President of the United States, and that is our friend Hillary Clinton."

Her appeal to parents, to those of us looking forward, anxiously, to how this country will look for our children, was deeply felt and thought provoking. It was not the speech of a politician. It was the speech of a loving mother, and a proud American.

Michelle Obama made anyone with a pulse proud to be an American. "Don't let anybody tell you this country isn't great, because this country right now is the greatest country on earth."

After her eight impactful years in the White House, and one glorious speech to cap it all off, Michelle Obama will go down in history as one of our nation's greatest first ladies.

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