Dahlia On Michelle
What I loved best about Michelle Obama's speech tonight was that it was fearless, but in a very different way from the fearlessness modeled by Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi. Here is a woman with a degree from Harvard Law School, who could have talked about law and policy and poverty, and yet she talked about her kids, her husband, and her family. And she didn't do that merely to show us that smart women are soft and cuddly on the inside. She did what everyone else in this campaign is terrified to do: She risked looking sappy and credulous and optimistic when almost everyone has abandoned "hope" and "change" for coughing up hairballs of outrage.
Every Democrat in America seems to be of the view that optimism is so totally last February; that now's the time to hunker down and panic real hard. Good for Michelle for reminding us that to "strive for the world as it should be" is still cool, and for being so passionate about that fact that she looked to be near tears.
I also agree with David Brooks' excellent advice today, which is that Obama needs to simply be who he is. He just isn't a Krugman-style attack dog; he isn't terribly partisan; he isn't really that radical. Clinton era tax hikes for the successful and tax cuts for the struggling, a healthcare proposal less statist than Romney's, diplomatic caution, religious temperance, global awareness: these are his themes, bound together with the hope of the next generation. He is the 21st Century, while McCain is eager for the 19th. You have to trust the American people to see this - not panic, trust.