Much of the hype swirling around the first night of the Democratic National Convention belonged to Bernie Sanders, whose endorsement of Hillary Clinton was expected to unify a party that desperately needed it. But when the dust settled and the balloons cleared, all anyone could talk about was Michelle Obama.
The FLOTUS delivered one of the most powerful speeches ever at a party convention, and she did it with the class, elegance, and charisma that has come to define her time in the White House. In stark contrast to the fear-mongering and ugliness that was rampant at last week’s Republic National Convention, Obama demanded better from us. She talked about her journey to Washington D.C., and how the hateful speech hurled at her husband affects their daughters.
“We challenge them to ignore those who challenge their father’s citizenship or faith,” she said. “How we insist that the hateful language from public figures on television does not represent the true nature of this country. How we explain when someone is cruel or act like a bully, you don’t stoop to that level. No, our motto is: When they go low, we go high.”
She spoke about rising racial tensions in America, and how now more than ever we need to unite, not splinter. “That is the story of this country, the story that has brought me to this stage tonight,” she said. “The story of people who felt the last of bondage, the shame of servitude, the sting of segregation but who kept on striving and hoping and doing what needed to be done, so that today I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves.”
Obama was also unabashed in her support for Hillary Clinton, who she declared was the President our children deserve. “What I admire most about Hillary is that she never buckles under pressure, she never takes the easy way out, and Hillary Clinton has never quit on anything in their life,” Obama added. “And when I think about the type of president I want for my girls and all our children, that’s what I want. I want someone with the proven strength to persevere, someone who knows this job and takes it seriously, someone who knows that the issues the president faces is not black and white and cannot be boiled down to 140 characters.”
Perhaps most impressive was how thoroughly Obama bashed Donald Trump without ever mentioning his name. It was the world’s greatest subtweet. By making her speech aspirational instead of threatening, Obama crafted the most anti-Trump speech of all time. “Don’t let anyone tell you that our country isn’t great, that somehow we need to make it great again, because right now, this is the greatest country on earth.”
For those 10 minutes, it was hard not to believe her. Watch Michelle Obama’s full speech below.