“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.”
With that powerful image Michelle Obama, the First Lady captured the incredible journey she, her husband and children have been on.
They had reclaimed the great house those slaves built and Michelle Obama, who rarely becomes emotional, did so for a moment.
The slaves were kept in pens on the mall; slave auctions were held nearby The great men of the day, including Lincoln who was said to be deeply affected by what he saw, passed by on their way to Congress. The idea of a black man in the White House as president would have been as preposterous as a flying saucer landing on the White House lawn.They were there to be sold, whipped and worked to death.
Even Lincoln the great emancipator believed they should be shipped back to their ancestral homelands as soon as possible.
Yet, there was Michelle Obama, a middle class black girl from Chicago's South Side, standing at the podium in Philadelphia addressing the nation in a powerful speech about America’s place in the world.
America is great, she said, and essentially giving her own story and her husband’s as to why it was so great. A young black man called Barack Obama without a father and child of a teenage mother wins the White House. Those ghostly slaves must have welcomed him softly when he walked in after being inaugurated.
It showed the greatness of America. The US elected a black leader before any other western country did and judging by his personal popularity (56 percent approval in an ABC poll) and her class and distinction America choose very well. There has never been a hint of scandal about the Obamas: no major corruption in their administration, no need to fire disgraced cabinet members or cover up wrong doings—and believe me Republicans tried.
Michelle exuded class and I thought completely stole the show on the first night of the convention.
A shrewd observer like Chris Cillizza with the Washington Post mused that she would have an incredible political career, but somehow I think not.
Unlike Hillary, she has never seemed totally comfortable with her fame and she has no love for the spotlight. Her last eight years have been dedicated, she said, to ensuring that her children lived as normal a life as possible in the hothouse atmosphere of the White House. She has certainly been successful.
Her endorsement of Hillary Clinton gives the presidential candidate a huge boost because of the way it was delivered. It was a plea to support her for the future, for the next generation, because she was by far the most qualified.
While Bernie Sanders and Senator Elizabeth Warren were in fine thunderous form, the night belonged to Michelle, an extraordinary composite of grace and dignity and love for her family and country. We could all learn from her.
As for the presidency, Hillary may well win because of her bench strength. There are Barack and Michelle Obama, Bernie Sanders, Bill Clinton, and Elizabeth Warren to call on. Trump, meanwhile, seems to be going it alone with most of the front line names skipping his convention. It could make the difference.