Michelle Obama’s speech last night is being nearly universally praised as a smashing success. Even some righties admit it. The only exception I’ve found so far is Byron York, who creates an appearance of inconsistency through creative quoting. Well, that’s what they pay him to do.
The Right keeps trying to spin Michelle Obama into Angela Davis ca. 1970. I’ve thought all along that if the American public could just get an unfiltered look at her, most of them would like her just fine. Especially compared to the genuinely disturbing Cindy McCain.
Spouse speeches at these conventions usually are fairly forgettable. I’ve been trying to remember some from the past. The only presidential candidate wife whose convention appearance I remember is Pat Nixon in 1972, for some reason. And I don’t remember if she actually spoke. I just remember that when she appeared on the stage she got huge applause, which I took to be in sympathy. Wow, Pat, you put up with that creep. How do you do it?
I also remember one veep spouse speech — Marilyn Quayle,
1972 1992. She was so hateful, so arrogant, so smug, she was nearly unbearable. I remember the reactions of co-workers, mostly women, the next day — usually a finger down the throat, to suggest gagging. I think that she and Pat Buchanan’s declaration of culture war helped Bill Clinton win the election.
Michael Tomasky thinks Michelle Obama should have been schmaltzier. He also said that last night wasn’t nearly negative enough. I want to see John McBush thoroughly skewered the remainder of the convention, but I don’t necessarily think it was a mistake to keep the first night positive and uplifting, especially since it was Kennedy night.
With all the sturm und drang over the Clintons, it was such a delight to forget them and remember the Kennedys. Back in the Kennedy era, Democrats were Democrats, dammit. No triangulation; no wussy DLC accommodations to the Right. Now there’s just Ted, and his time is almost up. I love the symbolism of Caroline and Ted passing the torch to Obama.
So, Day 1 was about This is who we are. This is our vision. The rest of the convention needs to be, Now, let’s go kick some right-wing ass.