First Lady Michelle Obama Shines, Reminding America Who's In Office
Her presence was strong, words empowering and tone confident as she reminded the world that her husband, Barack Obama, was not only the same man with whom she fell in love, but also the same president he was four years ago - one focused on the growth of a nation through the growth of its people.
As Michelle began her speech, she reinforced what many in America have come to love about President Obama: his good heart, desire for change and the power of the American spirit. A spirit that, for millions, is weary and fearful of the future. Mrs. Obama, as she did four years ago, comforted those in doubt with her words of inspiration and encouragement.
A particularly touching moment of her speech, at least for me, was the point at which she emphasized that, "For Barack, success isn't about how much money you make; it's about the difference you make in people's lives." It was this moment that reminded me that an individual with a privileged background, such as Mitt Romney, lacks the ability to see and understand something they've never been through - the struggles of the majority of the American people. Wealth and business shouldn't be the focus of national policy, when daily American lives are at risk. Michelle spoke from the perspective of the majority in America who face the challenge of rising out of poverty into the middle class, which today continues to shrink.
Just last week I watched as Romney expressed why he is a solid candidate for presidency, including things like his understanding of the business world, success and taking risks. But isn't it arguable that President Obama - given his experience as president, his position in the Senate, his Harvard University education and the systematic barriers he overcame to achieve all of that - understood all three? And even though those qualities Romney assures us he possesses are definitely beneficial for either candidate to have, isn't America ready to confront the issue of an increasingly powerful corporate America that has pushed Americans deeper into debt?
Tuesday night, Michelle Obama made at least one thing clear: you can't lead a nation if you've never truly known its struggle. The "From the Bottom to the Top" philosophy has driven the idea of the American dream to the extreme, and in Michelle's speech, she showed us that that dream is unattainable under a government that doesn't understand the road to triumph that extends beyond business models and corporate risk, all the way into America's streets. Just last week at the RNC, Mitt Romney said, "In America we celebrate success, we don't apologize for it. That's what this President doesn't seem to understand." But without even mentioning his name, Michelle Obama responded to Romney's assertion by simply reminding the American public that Romney has never had to struggle like they have.
"She has become a very eloquent political figure without seeming to be one...She is the most popular person in the administration, and tonight she showed why."
Her popularity, however, isn't centered around her identity as President Obama's wife or even her wardrobe; it's centered around her. Michelle Obama is a captivating figure. She was coined "Mom-in-Chief" not only for her two lovely daughters, but also for the millions of children throughout the nation who idolize her for the commitment she has to improve the lives of the deserving, yet under-served class.
As I watched the speech, I couldn't help but think about my reaction to it as a black woman. I'd hoped my mind could travel to a land in which looks didn't matter, but as I watched Mrs. Obama speak I was reminded that a decade ago, in my mind, a Mrs. Obama was impossible. There is something about the American dream that shifts when you know that the people behind it didn't have much to begin with, and didn't have much to dream on. Her presence, as well as President Obama's, signifies a turning point in America that will hopefully last.
Regardless if you're interested in politics, follow the election or simply enjoy a good speech, if you missed what Mrs. Obama said Tuesday night, you missed out. She reminded the world what America can become through the struggles that Americans face daily, with someone like Barack Obama as president. Michelle Obama solidified herself as a political figure, agent of change and a powerful figure in America. Most importantly, she did it as First Lady, with class - something it seems Mitt Romney is sadly lacking, outside the business world, of course.