Iâ€™m not a huge fan of the wholeÂ First Lady convention speech thing. I wish we would let politicians be politicians, and that we would let political spouses be whatever it is that they wish to be, instead of dragging them up to various podiums to be surrogates or props. Iâ€™ll make an exception for Michelle Obamaâ€™s beautifully crafted and delivered speech last night.
In part–but only in part–it was effective for the same reasons that Mrs. Romney’s speech was effective in Tampa. Both women checked off the usual boxes. Michelle Obama humanized her husband. Like Mrs. Romney, Mrs. Obama reminded people of her husband’s appealing relationship with his family. Michelle Obama also landed some artful and well-deserved jabs at Mitt Romney, too.
Michelle Obama’s speech went further, though. She accomplished something else of more permanent value. Without apology or rancor, she presented a vision of liberal family values rooted in her own biography that should resonate with millions of people. It certainly resonated with me. Her defense of community, inclusion, social mobility, and the dignity of work was the perfect counterpoint to the self-regarding â€œyou built it!â€ mentality expressed at the Republican convention…..
From the dais at the Republican National Convention, Paul Ryan thundered against health reform as an entitlement that we hadnâ€™t even asked for. As I noted a few days ago at healthinsurance.org, the â€œweâ€ to which he referred left out some of his listeners: Continue reading “Michelle Obama: Liberal family values without apology or rancor”