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Michelle Obama stepped out on the Democratic National Convention stage this evening and brought everyone in the room to their feet.
via USA Today:
“Don’t let anyone ever tell you that this country isn’t great, that somehow we need to make it great again, because this right now is the greatest country on earth,” she said, enthusiastically endorsing Democrat Hillary Clinton for president as delegates waved purple “Michelle” signs.
“The issues a president faces are not black and white, and cannot be boiled down into 140 characters,” the first lady said. “Because when you have the nuclear codes at your fingertips and the military at your command, you can’t make snap decisions. You can’t have a thin skin or the tendency to lash out.”
She said children look to adults — and especially the president — to shape their values. “Make no mistake about it, this November when we go to the polls, that’s what we’re deciding,” she said. “Who will have the power to shape our children for the next four or eight years of their lives?”
Mrs. Obama also took an oblique shot at supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders, who often interrupted the first night of the convention with shouts of “Bernie! Bernie!” In contrast, Mrs. Obama said, Clinton supported Barack Obama at the 2008 convention.
“When she didn’t win the nomination eight years ago, she didn’t get angry or disillusioned,” Mrs. Obama said. “She did not pack up and go home, because as a true public servant she knows this is so much bigger than her own desires and disappointments.”
Mrs. Obama also confronted issues of gender and race, saying that Clinton was “picked apart for how she looks or how she talks or even how she laughs.” Clinton, she said, has “the guts and the grace to keep coming back and putting those cracks in that highest and hardest glass ceiling until she finally breaks through.”
And she said her own story is 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.”
Mrs. Obama also returned to the familiar themes of motherhood and family she spoke of at the 2008 convention. That speech has already reverberated into the 2016 election last week, after Trump’s wife Melania was accused of plagiarizing her address at the Republican National Convention. One copied passage, Mrs. Obama spoke of the values that she and her husband were raised with, and their desire to “pass them on to the next generation.”
Mrs. Obama spoke of sending her daughters off to school their first day in Washington as they piled into “those black SUVs with all those big men with guns.”
“And I saw their little faces pressed up against the window, and the only thing I could think was, ‘What have we done?’” she said to laughter from the convention hall.
But then she also spoke of the pride of raising her two daughters in the White House, where “we’ve had the joy of watching them grow from bubbly little girls into poised young women.”
“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,” she said. “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.”
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