Wednesday, 27 July 2016 09:05
Michelle Obama ives Oscar performance at Democratic Convention with optimism, sincerity
Written by 
Rate this item
(0 votes)

michelle obama hairby Mike Manak

Val Kilmer, Marisa Tomei, Evanna Lynch, Anna Kendrick, Ray Charles, Peter Finch, and Viola Davis are adept at scene stealing. They are the ones leading actors watch out for, lest their spotlights be usurped by these, and other, supporting players whose names are farther down in the credits.  

Add a new name to the list, Michelle Obama. The President's wife chewed up the scenery at the Philly Democratic National Convention on Monday night in a dress by a designer who cuts cloth for plus sized women. In the process she did what few Democrats, or Republicans, have done in this low-energy, loser-filled political season and, that is, make a case for decency and hope. In one speech Mrs. Obama countered a quotient of the doom and gloom on display last week in Cleveland, and she did it with grace, aplomb, and conviction.

On a high-powered night with Bernie Sanders, Corey Booker, Elizabeth Warren and Paul Simon on the playbill, Mrs. O. stole the show. Remember her? She’s the First Lady who grew a garden in her yard and exercised with children on the back lawn. She, also, famously, glared hard, in an if looks could kill way, at the President for flirting, a little too openly, with Denmark’s comely Prime Minister, Helle Thorning Schmidt, proving she's no push-over, either. Mrs. Obama has appeared at numerous formal state dinners, dressed in her nines, to support Mr. Obama and adroitly chatted up the A list crowds, but rarely keynoted. She put her arm around the Queen in Buckingham Palace, breaking many centuries of protocol, and gesture that charmed Elizabeth II due to its spontaneity and affection. She sat in a little car and sang karaoke with late night TV's James Corden and, almost, seemed like us. Though a super bright and a well educated lawyer, she has kept her political advocacy, until now, mostly, to the dinner table, her own, not America’s.

It’s not hard not to remember some of the key points in her speech. There's the house she lives in that was built by slaves, presumably after the British torched it in 1814. She recounted how hard it is to raise two girls in the intense glare of media scrutiny, not all of it good.  About Hillary, she said, “I’m With Her,” and talked about why experience and stability are important in a chief executive. Most importantly, she reminded us America is already great. The most remarkable thing about her speech, however, was that was she wasn’t acting. She spoke from the heart.

Michelle Obama’s "convention-side chat" was reminiscent of something you’d hear in a Frank Capra film, the kind of movie you come away from feeling good. She reminded the audience that in America decency counts and that the struggle for goodness is worth it. She extolled the high road as the only road. Though Republican’s may cringe at this, she sounded a bit like Ronald Reagan when he likened America to a “shining city on a hill.” They both advocated optimism, not fear or desperation.

Sen. Bernie Sanders came off like a teacher who has lost control of his classroom and is trying his best to restore order. Mrs. Obama, in contrast, was in control of herself and, more importantly, her audience. Sen. Corey Booker approached inspiration as he made his case for the Democrats but relied, perhaps, more on passion than heart. Sen. Elizabeth Warren sounded like my Grandmother lecturing me whenever I'd leave her house. None of these other Democrats, however, evoked goodness the way Mrs. Obama did. She made it good to feel good again.

The real test will come Thursday when another First Lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton, gets a turn at the mike. Hillary admits campaigning is hard for her, that it doesn't come naturally. There are times when she seems like the person who is asked to say grace before Thanksgiving dinner, when the words, no matter how inspiring, can’t ever quite supersede anticipation of what's coming next. Maybe this is why the now disgraced and resigned DNC chair, Debbie Wasserman Shultz, felt she had to break the rules and help her preferred candidate from the wings. That partisan miscue, however, was momentarily forgotten by the time Michelle Obama finished her speech, one in which, in so many words, she advance the proposition that greatness springs from hope, not fear; that we are a nation of believers, not doubters.

If Hillary Clinton desires to bind the country together again, to craft a win over Donald Trump in the Fall she, too, must appeal to the light and not the dark. To accomplish this, Hillary would do well to say “I’m With Her,” that is Michelle Obama. We’ll soon know if the current First Lady has stolen the show or has, as intended, played well her supporting role.

Mike Manak is an attorney, writer and photographer.  He lives in California


Login to post comments
Powered By JFBConnect
  • Cat Fights on the Hot Cement Confederate New Orleans statues
  • Ex-Saints, Bears, Bills, NFL Exec, Jim W. Miller discusses NFL Draft tomorrow
  • Trump's new plan; Curtains on tax returns release; 40% say Trump-Russia; Probing Obama admin
  • Watch Louisiana Governor Edwards talk about CAT Tax failure

catRarely, have I seen few issues that have generated as much raw heat, tension, and passion than the Confederate monuments controversy. 

Just as existed during the real civil war, where brothers battled brothers, social media is the battleground, particularly Facebook, pitting friend against friend.

On one side of the tense divide, there are those who are protecting the New Orleans civil war era monuments.  Burnt in effigy, forever, is the symbol of Mayor Mitch Landrieu for up-ending what the monument protectors consider to be the loving civil society of New Orleans.

Lately, events have turned somewhat militaristic.

Some protectors of the Confederate monuments have been staying vigilant, in person and online, even surveilling during the wee hours of the morning, waiting for the next Mayor Landrieu attack. On Sunday morning, with protections of snipers, masked workers and a dumbstruck audience, the worst of all of the monuments was cut and carried., the Liberty Monument. 

Read More

miller nfl live2 5It’s D-Day or Draft Day tomorrow in the NFL.

More specifically, Thursday represents the first day of the NFL draft 2017.

Read More


trump curtainsThe major President Trump news of the day focuses upon taxes, not only the tax cuts he is proposing but his own taxes, which he obviously, refuses to unveil.


Read More

edwards play money 1

At a press conference today, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said the CAT Tax did not pass the House Ways and Means Committee.  The Governor, in addressing the media said that "the fate of that bill was decided long before we unveiled it".

Read More

BB Menu


Sen. Appel talks budget, economy


Dead Pelican

Optimized-DeadPelican2 1 1