The First Lady's speech at the Democratic National Convention was the much anticipated speech of opening night. All weekend I watched the news as political pundits talked about what we could anticipate from the speakers. Although much of the talk centered around the rising Democratic star Julian Castro, one thing was for sure, America could not wait to hear Mrs. Obama's speech (or see what she would wear).
At almost 10:40 p.m., Mrs. Obama took the stage and then literally took over the night. Mrs. Obama spoke from the heart as she shared her personal life story, President Obama's story, and how they grew up with challenges and without much, just like many other American families. We heard Mrs. Obama speak of hardships and challenges faced by their own families, and that of many Americans.
One thing was clear from Mrs. Obama's speech. The personal experiences that Mrs. Obama and President Obama experienced in their own lives and within their own families have been the bedrock for the issues and platforms that President Obama has rallied for these last four years. As Mrs. Obama said, "[T]he issues are not political, they are personal, because President Obama lived it."
We did not hear Mrs. Obama mention Mitt Romney by name. Instead, Mrs. Obama spoke about integrity, the truth, and avoiding shortcuts or playing by your own set of rules.
Mrs. Obama also reflected on the last four years and the issues that President Obama has stood for since he took office. Health care, giving women equal pay for equal work, reducing student loan debt, creating more jobs for America, and protecting America's hopes and dreams. And despite the many challenges that the President has faced, Mrs. Obama reminded us that he has not changed. "Being President doesn't change who you are ... it reveals who you are."
As we heard the story and struggles of many Americans, we heard one clear message, President Obama is still the man for the job to help keep moving our country forward.
As First Lady, wife, and Chief Mom in Charge, Mrs. Obama's convention speech was just what the Democratic party needed to kick off opening night. It was authentic, honest, and effective.