Michelle Obama's Perfect DNC Speech Was a First Class Lesson in Dealing With a Bully

First Lady Michelle Obama proved once again with her speech on the first night of the Democratic National Convention why she's one of America's most beloved public figures -- because deep down she's a mom worried about her kids just like everyone else. And she didn't just bring down the house last night in Philly with her speech -- she brought Donald Trump the bully right down to size, without ever saying his name.


Mrs. Obama's speech wasn't about policy or politics. It was about the kind of world, and the kind of leader, she wants for her two beloved daughters, Sasha and Malia. And the kind of president she wants to shape the next generation of American children who will grow up watching them.

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She talked about her own time in the White House and the care with which she approached being a role model not just for her own girls, but for everyone's sons and daughters. Obama praised Secretary Hillary Clinton's grit, toughness, and work ethic as the example of who we want front and center for our nation's children.

"Hillary Clinton has never quit anything in her life," she said. "She never buckles under pressure. She never takes the easy way out."

Mrs. O didn't even have to utter the name "Trump" to summarily dismiss him as totally unfit for the Oval Office.

"When you have the nuclear codes at your fingertips and the military at your command, you can't have a thin skin or tendency to lash out," the First Lady said.

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Then she did exactly what she has always done -- she gave the country a model of the appropriate way to handle even the toughest situations, including a big bully like Trump.

Obama said she tells her girls to "ignore those who question her father's citizenship or faith," in reference to the "birther" question of Obama's citizenship that Trump has kept alive despite all evidence that he was born in Hawaii.

Then carefully, and beautifully, Obama asked us all to rise above the ugly Trump rhetoric -- while refusing to give credence to the man who incites it.

"Our motto is: When they go low, we go high," Obama said to roars, cheers, and even a couple (or maybe a lot) of tears from the CafeMom staffers in attendance at last night's DNC.

Michelle Obama quote

And just like that, none of the "Bernie or Bust" or any of the Democratic in-fighting of the last couple of days seemed important, because our First Lady reminded us that our children really are watching, and that it's up to all of us to grow up and act like adults and give them the leadership they, and our country, deserve.

She also had a strong message for anyone who thinks America isn't the greatest country on earth:

That is the story of this country. The story that has brought me to the stage tonight. 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. So that today, 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.

Yes, last night Mrs. Obama showed up once again to give the nation a dignity wake-up call and remind us of what's important -- our babies. And that's exactly what's at stake in this election. Our country will either elect the first woman president and make history, or elect a petty, vulgar, racist who has demonstrated time and again his only concern is with advancing his own interests, from stoking nationalist fears to his barrage of sexist attacks on women who dare to question him.

Yes, Michelle Obama couldn't have given America a clearer choice about the future for our kids. And to borrow a phrase, I'm with her.

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"Don't let anyone ever tell you that this country isn't great," she said, "that somehow we need to make it great again. Because this right now is the greatest country on earth." 

Here's her entire speech. I dare you not to be inspired.


Images via CNN/YouTube; Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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