What Are They Saying About Michelle Obama's Big Speech Today?

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Just like the Republican affair last week, the first night of the Democratic National Convention belonged to the candidate's wife, as Michelle Obama took her first crack at wooing voters. How did she do?

Well, much like Ann Romney, Obama's job was telling the personal story of her husband and how their lives intersect with the voters. Without ever mentioning their opponent, Obama painted a picture of a couple that overcame hardship to raise a successful family ... and also move into the White House. "Impassioned case" seemed to be the buzzword of the evening, and while her remarks stayed away from policy even conservatives gave her points for her eloquent argument. Here's some of what the pundits had to say:

Michelle Obama’s speech: Both apolitical and politically masterful — E.J. Dionne, The Washington Post

A speech that was thoroughly apolitical on the surface carried multiple political messages, linking a very traditional message about parenting with a call for social justice.

Michelle Obama: Not just mom-in-chief — Irin Carmon, Salon

If you feel let down by an arc that begins with anti-colonialism, immigration and women being dragged to jail, but returns to the cult of motherhood, you’re not alone. ... But for a black woman whose embrace of the most uncontroversial causes imaginable still managed to incite right-wing hysteria... even mom-in-chief is something — even if it’s not everything. 

Michelle Obama's big speech: How did she do? — Linda Feldmann, Christian Science Monitor

And if Twitter is any guide, her speech was a success. She got almost double the tweets per minute during her speech than Mr. Romney did during his acceptance speech last week. According to a tweet from Twitter, Mrs. Obama peaked at 28,003 tweets per minute to Romney’s 14,289.

Michelle Obama’s junk food speech — Alexandra Petri, The Washington Post

It was a delicious speech. I ate it up. Its contents were nil, but, as the Internet murmured in unison, what more does one expect from a first lady’s speech? Substance? No. Of course not. For someone famously associated with broccoli, this speech was heavy on the spun sugar and light on the iron. But it was sweet indeed. 

Michelle helps sell Michelle...not Barack | Fox News Dick Morris, Fox News

She mobilized the crowd and turned them on.  She really galvanized the crowd with her energy.  But does she have a relevance to the election?  Does she produce votes for Barack?  I doubt it.

Michelle's Speech — Jonah Goldberg, National Review

All of that said, I thought as a political speech it was excellent and did nearly everything she needed it to do. She was more comfortable and convincingly passionate than Ann Romney and made not only a defense of her husband the man  (where Ann also excelled) but also of her husband’s policies (where Ann Romney was largely silent, if memory serves). Will it convince anyone already leaning against Obama to change their mind, I sincerely doubt it. Will it win back a few waverers? Quite possibly.  Will it fire up the Democratic base? Absolutely.

Will Michelle Obama's speech change history? — Gordon Stewart, CNN

Michelle Obama gave one of the finest speeches ever delivered at a national political convention. More important, it could have more impact on the immediate future of the country than her husband's celebrated 2004 keynote address to the Democratic National Convention in Boston.

Michelle Obama’s Resounding Triumph — Howard Kurtz, The Daily Beast

In the end, Michelle Obama delivered the testimonial that only a wife can: “I see the concern in his eyes and hear the determination in his voice.” It was well crafted, nearly perfect, and perhaps reminded people disappointed in this presidency what they believed in back in 2008.

Michelle Obama’s total knockout speech — John Podhoretz, New York Post

Michelle Obama’s total knockout speech last night, like Ann Romney’s total knockout speech last week, is another grievous indication of the leadership and legitimacy crisis in American politics.


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