Anybody else watch Michelle Obama's speech last night at the Democratic National Convention?
Personally, I was seriously impressed. She spoke about her life, her husband's life, and the American Dream. She spoke about keeping your word, about honor and integrity, about dreams and hope, and about love of country. She spoke of humble beginnings and unlimited horizons. Every single thing she said I agree with wholeheartedly. I thought it was an excellent speech, an inspiring speech, an amazing speech - and should she become the First Lady, I think she'll do more than just a credible job, I think she'll be an outstanding First Lady. She's articulate, passionate, supremely well spoken, confident, outspoken, idealistic, and obviously thoughtfully intelligent. And she's deeply in love with her husband - does that matter? I think it does, at least to me.
It is apparent to me, and has been for some time, that many of the things said about her are patently false. Last night's speech just cemented that opinion in my mind.
This morning the pundits are taking her speech apart word by word, criticizing everything from her Princeton education to her sincerity to her choice of apparel and hairstyle. Predictable, and no less nauseating for being predictable. I read somewhere this morning, a comment from some vitriolic idiot who said in essence, "So what? She's just parroting the words some speech writer wrote for her." Bullshit. Obvious bullshit. Listen to her words, watch her speak, watch her eyes. Her eyes are on America, on the crowd, not on some teleprompter. I've given a lot of speeches in my time. I've stood in front of a lot of people and have spoken passionately and from the heart. And I know it when I see it. Those are her words, not some speechwriter's, and she believes every one of them. True sincerity, you cannot fake that. You cannot, not in front of me anyway.
I've seen a dozen reports this morning regarding her tip of the hat to Hillary Clinton. The most ridiculous being Fox News (of course. Tediously, predictably, of course) who sneeringly questioned her sincerity with regards to Clinton's achievements and iconic status. CNN went so far as to hire a so-called "body language expert" to analyze Michelle Obama's stance, posture, and gestures during that portion of the speech - just to determine if Mrs Obama was actually, you know, sincere in her acknowledgement of Clinton. The expert determined that she was "ambivalent."
Again, listen to her words, watch her talk - she's not blowing smoke up Clinton's tailored pantsuit with empty, politically expedient flattery. She was sincerely acknowledging Clinton's achievement - Hillary Clinton came closer to the Presidency than any woman before her, and her accomplishment paved the way for those woman who will follow the trail Clinton blazed, straight into the Oval Office - maybe one of those women will be Malia or Natasha Obama. Michelle Obama can, and did, acknowledge that fact without reservation.
Was it a calculated olive branch to Clinton's supporters? Sure, probably.
Welcome to politics. Was is disingenuous? No. No. No. Again, listen to her words, she spoke about unity, about all Americans standing together. All Americans. And those aren't empty words, she demonstrated her commitment to unity by reaching out, right there in Denver, to one of her husband's most bitter rivals. Far from insincerity, I take this as a sign of the Obamas' sincere commitment to represent all Americans, to reach across the aisle, to unify instead of divide.
Insincerity? No, wrong word.
It's called class, and grace, and style.
I look forward to hearing Cindy McCain speak at the GOP Convention. I'm sure it'll be equally impressive.