Charlotte, N.C.-I am attending my very first Democratic National Convention. This morning, as I was waiting for the program to begin at the African American Caucus, I asked attendees of last night’s opening session to give me one word to describe the FLOTUS’s speech. The responses included inspiring, phenomenal, oh-my-god, awesome, loving, touching, beautiful, elegant, incredible, magnificent, undeniable and powerful.
My impression of her speech was spellbinding. At one point during her speech, the entire arena was almost silent except for the faint background noise that lets you know you are alive. I found myself on the edge of my seat, leaning forward and completely taken by her every word.
Her story is like so many of our stories, watching our mothers and fathers struggle against the odds to make a better life for us. Neither of my parents finished high school. My mom worked in the sweatshops of the Philadelphia garment factories and my dad worked two jobs and sometimes three to provide for their seven children. Today, six of us have college degrees including four masters’ degrees.
Maybe your story is like mine. That’s what is so important about the FLOTUS’s story and that of her husband, our President. They are so much like us. They understand us because they have lived the American dream that all Americans share – that through hard work and opportunity we can succeed and maybe even succeed beyond our dreams.
Michelle Obama connected with middle class Americans last night in a way that lets us know that she and the President care about us and the future of our children and grandchildren. She let us know that their values are what drive them every day, not political expediency.
The most potent statement she made was that the time in the White House did not change them but revealed who that are. They are us.