Michelle Obama DNC Convention Segment

Amanda Carpenter
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Posted: Aug 25, 2008 10:25 PM
The live blogging continues...

Opening video segment: Talks about Michelle's family, her closeness to her late father. Michelle and Barack talk about their first date, a company picnic where he offered to buy her ice cream on the way home. Hitting themes about Michelle's commitment to public service and her children. Very sweet ending with Michelle's mother praising Michelle and talking about how Michelle reminds her of her former husband. It almost eked a tear out of me.

Craig Robinson, Michelle's brother: Says Michelle "gave up a big job with a law firm" to go into public service and urged him to become a basketball coach. ("Go Beavers!" he says of his team.) Robinson says Barack's basketball game shows "he's confident, but not cocky. He'll take the shot if it's open." 

Michelle Obama:
She went green, I was right (see post below). Not really the shade I predicted though. This is more of a seafoam, not a forest. Now she's talking, I'll type important things...

I can tell right now that she wrote this. It doesn't seem totally polished. Flows awkwardly at times. Onto content, Michelle says her family was blue collar and her dad was her "rock" even though he had muscular sclerosis. "He just got up a little earlier and worked a little harder," she says.  "I know the American dream endures."

Says even though Barack grew up far away his family was just like hers and they were raised with the same values. "You treat people with dignity and respect even when you don't agree with them." (This line gets applause.)

"America should be a place where you can make it if you try," Michelle says.

Mentions this week is the 88th anniversary of women earning the right to vote and gives a shout out to Hillary Clinton "who put those 18 million cracks in the glass ceiling so that our daughters and sons can dream a little bigger and aim a little higher."

Says this is the point where  "the current of history meets the new tide of hope and that is why I love this country." Ends the speech by promising an end to the war in Iraq, more pay for women and universal health care.

My thoughts:
She delivered a speech that was hers. It got a lot better as it went along. She riled up the base and was gracious to Hillary, which will likely fill a lot of news copy in the coming days. I wasn't moved at all by the speech, but I'm not the target.  I thought it was a little defensive of her to try and answer the "proud of my country" stuff here, but she did it quickly and didn't dwell on it. You could tell she wasn't "over" it, though.

Barack's livecast reaction: "Now you know why I asked her out so many times even though she said 'no,'" Obama laughs. "You want a persistent president." Tells his wife she was "unbelievable" and his girls look "very cute!" Lots of "love you, Daddy's, see you on Thursday" goodbyes. Very heartwarming. Who doesn't love that kind of stuff?

Pundit reactions: Juan Williams is near tears on Fox News because the events tonight projected such a positive image for the black community.

Chris Wallace calls it "a wasted night" politically because, while it was heartwarming, it did not contain enough content for those who need to be convinced to vote for Obama. "There are only four precious nights to this convention and I can't help but feel this was a wasted night," he says. Wallace thinks team Obama needs to demonstrate their candidate is ready to lead, not just a good family man.

Over on MSNBC, Brian Williams says the night was "emotionally exhausting" for convention-goers.