Michelle Obama moves crowd at DNC

Bhavana Vadlamani | Contributing Writer

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Michelle Obama delivered a powerful and touching speech at the Democratic National Convention as she successfully humanized her husband, President Barack Obama, and genuinely portrayed his vision for the country as the fulfillment of the American dream for all its citizens.

     The First Lady started her speech by recognizing those heroes who truly embody the American spirit, such as those teachers “who vowed to keep teaching without pay” and “proud military families.” She transitioned from this, essentially saying that those who inspire others by example and lend the helping hand are the true essence of the American spirit and therefore proudly live the American dream. “Barack knows the American Dream because he’s lived it,” she said. This statement made the president more relatable and allowed the public to empathize and understand his goals for the country since they are now under the impression that he is “one of us.”

Citing examples from President Obama’s and her own upbringing, Michelle Obama created a firm bond with the public by making them easily relatable to these everyday life experiences. This is based on the fundamental human mindset that we are more able to trust someone if they themselves have experienced our pain. By depicting the struggles that her own father and President Obama’s grandmother had faced, Michelle Obama created an emotional bond with the audience and the public at large, successfully gaining their trust. With this she further justified the actions of President Obama, such as his sanction of the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which allowed working women to receive equal pay for equal work, connecting his grandmother’s experience as his reason behind this act. She said that these pivotal figures in their lives raised both the president and herself to lead lives embedded with integral values such as dignity, decency, honesty, integrity, gratitude and humility. According to Michelle Obama, at the end of the day, these integral values are the backdrop for Barack’s vision for the country and are what lead him to make decisions. Using “values” instead of ideas, Michelle Obama was able to easily gain acceptance from the audience since values are noncontroversial. She further solidified this effect by implying that Barack is striving to fulfill the fundamental “American promise” so that everyone can achieve the American dream and, in turn, inspire others with their American spirit.

Not only did the First Lady inspire the audience with her moving words and gain trust for President Obama, she was also able to honestly express that President Obama deserves our trust because he has remained true to his word before and during his presidency. She supported this claim by saying that President Obama turned down high-paying jobs before he was president to work in struggling neighborhoods and that even now he believes there is a lot more work to be done in our country.

By shedding light on President Obama’s role as a father, Michelle Obama was able to successfully portray a caring and delicate side to the powerful political figure. “When our girls were first born, [he] would anxiously check their cribs every few minutes to ensure they were still breathing,” she said, enabling people to see President Obama’s emotional side and therefore successfully humanizing his appeal to the public.

I believe that the most prominent and unique aspect of Michelle Obama’s speech was that she mentioned that President Obama finds finds the distinction between “us” and “them” immaterial-“them” here referring to the Republican Party. According to Michelle Obama, the progress of this country towards a better tomorrow is of utmost importance to President Obama. This really made an impact on me as a viewer, as I think it took away from the typical image of dirty politics and depicted President Obama in a humble, genuine light and really made him stand out as a leader who truly wants the best for his country. This statement by Michelle truly made a lasting impression upon me and on the crowd as a whole.