An oasis amid the politics

Popular first lady's speech was an exceptional performance

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The praise is certainly over the top. One column at CNN.com asks, “Will Michelle Obama’s speech change history?”

The author, former Carter speechwriter Gordon Stewart, wrote, “Michelle Obama gave one of the finest speeches ever delivered at a national political convention.”

That may be a bit much. But there’s little doubt Mrs. Obama was everything she was billed to be and more. She did her husband proud.

Moreover, it must be said that Michelle Obama has made herself into an absolutely exceptional first lady.

It’s a role that the strong, opinionated, career-minded Mrs. Obama took on reluctantly, as the Associated Press’ Julie Pace reminded Tuesday night, calling her “once a reluctant political spouse.”

She may have been back then, but today the woman many think of as “Hugger in Chief” has embraced her power and prestige and everything she can accomplish with it, and she’s done it with aplomb.

It has become fashionable for presidential spouses to champion a certain cause during their husband’s term, and Mrs. Obama has done that with verve. Literally. Her “Let’s Move” initiative to combat obesity, particularly in children, could scarcely come at a more opportune time for a country weighted down by unhealthy lifestyles.

As an added, but hardly tangential, bonus, Mrs. Obama is one of the most inspiring role models that young women of color have ever had the opportunity to look up to. Truth be known, we won’t ever know the full effect of the example she sets. It has to be incalculable.

Her gutsy decision to plow new ground at the White House – with a very high-profile garden in the old staid lawn – will always be remembered by history.

And we share her zeal for urban farming. More about that later.

Some people like to say that all politics are personal. Not so. While this editorial page stands diametrically opposed to the vision of government espoused by the Obamas, it’s never been personal. Nor is it personal where most voters are concerned. Despite low job-approval ratings, Mr. Obama and his wife both enjoy strong personal popularity.

That’s no way to decide elections, of course, as we’ve noted. But neither should political differences be allowed to rise to the level of personal attacks or even dislike. The Obamas appear for all the world to be utterly delightful. Most of us want the same things in this country; there are simply sharp disagreements on how to get there.

It’s always been clear that, regardless of the arc of this great nation and its economy, the Obamas are loved by a wide swath of the electorate.

She recently showed off her fitness in a push-up contest with talk show host Ellen Degeneres. This is no Dolly Madison cupcake.

Just four years ago, there were legitimate questions as to whether this country would even elect an African-American president. Today, while the political differences rage on, there’s no question that the president and his wife and family have been warmly embraced.

That says a lot about both her and the country.

We don’t know if she changed history Tuesday night. But she certainly made it – by setting a new standard for first-lady oratory.

Exceptional indeed.

Comments (37) Add comment
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shrimp for breakfast
5450
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shrimp for breakfast 09/06/12 - 04:25 am
4
4
Yes

She's funny and smart and down to earth. She seems like the kind of person we could all be friends with.

freeradical
1075
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freeradical 09/06/12 - 05:43 am
9
4
Yes, I found her husband's

Yes, I found her husband's decision to charge Mitt Romney with

causing the cancer death of another man's wife one of the most

" utterly delightful " traits of his personality.

agustinian
689
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agustinian 09/06/12 - 06:39 am
10
3
Hmmmmmm

While I don't like the personal attacks on the Obamas -- the guy could order a cheeseburger, and political foes would have something negative to say. Having said that, I am not a fan of Ms. Obama and didn't listen to the speech. But I have found the media can't wait to faun over her and her husband, which is probably why I have such a hard time liking them both.
I know, I know -- that makes me a racist.

By the way, can someone tell Ms. Obama how to pronounce the word "struggle"? There is no "h" in the word.

palmetto1008
9782
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palmetto1008 09/06/12 - 07:01 am
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11
Augustinian...you didn't
Unpublished

Augustinian...you didn't listen to mrs. Obama and remain convinced you don't like her. But it's apparent that you listened to mr. Limbaugh's analysis of the speech since you bring up the only criticism that Limbaugh could come up with.

jack234
719
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jack234 09/06/12 - 07:06 am
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11
Former President Bill Clinton

Former President Bill Clinton raised the roof last night. He certainly set the record straight about some of the charges the Republicans have been making that were untrue. As an Independent I am going to give Our wonderful president who has kept us safe 4 more years. Maybe the Rep will cooperate this second term because he can't run again. Businesses will start hiring and stop losing money because they have been listening to Rush who told them not to expand. I don't see Rush sending them the money they lost listening to him. The Obama Train will go by and pick up Bill Clinton. I might even let him wear the engeneer's hat as we move down the track to pick all my readers up. TOOT! TOO!

allhans
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allhans 09/06/12 - 07:12 am
7
3
Bill Clinton...Sure reminded

Bill Clinton...Sure reminded me of Listen now -this is important- I did not have....
too long, boring, and of no consequence.

TParty
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TParty 09/06/12 - 07:28 am
3
6
"...I don't like the personal

"...I don't like the personal attacks on the Obamas....Having said that, I am not a fan of Ms. Obama and didn't listen to the speech.....can someone tell Ms. Obama how to pronounce the word "struggle"? There is no "h" in the word."

Everything makes sense here....

seenitB4
86692
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seenitB4 09/06/12 - 08:00 am
4
4
A tough lady

Yeh....you have to be tough to be the Mrs in the WHouse...I certainly can give her credit for hanging tough...I like her gardening ideas---her moving the kids ideas--but I'm not happy with the Dem or Rep choice for President .......too bad the best men won't run....I want to see more women in congress.....i would like to see Condi Rice--Jeb Bush--Herman Cain--& some young men & women running this country.....the crowd we have needs to go home....jmo

effete elitist liberal
3112
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effete elitist liberal 09/06/12 - 08:12 am
2
11
"h"

No, Agustinian, disliking the the Obamas just makes you a rhacist....

southernguy08
499
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southernguy08 09/06/12 - 08:28 am
1
1
MICHELLE
Unpublished

Funny, she wasn't proud of her country until her husband was elected. Read some of the garbage she said about the USA during her college years. That'll give you an idea what the "first lady" thinks of America. And EEL, I don't like the Obama's, but do like Allen West, Herman Cain, and Condaleeza Rice. Does that make me a racist? Yeah, I'm laughing.

faithson
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faithson 09/06/12 - 08:47 am
3
10
the hill just got steeper

Mittens job just got harder. Between Michelle and Bill the bar just got raised a bit. Bill's erudition of the policies the President brings to the table contrasted with Mittens 'we'll let you know' should bring those on the fence, the one's who will actually elect our next president, to our side. Mittens campaign of deriding over half of the American people will come to no good in November.

dichotomy
32715
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dichotomy 09/06/12 - 09:07 am
10
4
jack234......Clinton always

jack234......Clinton always fails to mention that his economy sucked too until the Republicans took control of Congress 2 years into his first term and controlled it until he left office. THAT is why his economy got better and we got a balanced budget and a surplus. Clinton was smart enough to realize he had to give up the radical left wing agenda and work with the Republicans. Obama has not been that smart. Obama made his stand on "I won" and then shoved Obamacare down our throats without even talking to the Republicans. Obama killed the "great deal" with Boehner by demanding more tax hikes at the last minute and has refused to work with the Republicans ever since. Clinton's successful presidency was REALLY Newt Gingrich's successful presidency.

Techfan
6461
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Techfan 09/06/12 - 09:27 am
4
4
Thank God she didn't yell, "I

Thank God she didn't yell, "I love you women!"

rmwhitley
5547
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rmwhitley 09/06/12 - 09:47 am
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0
Barbra
Unpublished

Streisand seems like such a sweet person on camera but stories of her personal viciousness have leaked. Remember, they use "make-up" to cover ugly spots for PERFORMERS on television and the movies.

soapy_725
43676
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soapy_725 09/06/12 - 09:51 am
0
1
Good move sending Hillary out of the country
Unpublished

And as for the media fawning over the Obama's. The media is actually showing its own overt racism. The first non Anglo President must warm the cockles of their hearts. Liberals find salvation in embracing the Black Culture. Patronizing non Anglos has been a political strategy now for, what, 170 years.

Michelle would be more proactive in childhood obesity if she reversed the FDA ruling on replacing fats with salt and sugars. Do you think she actually works in a garden? Now that is racist. Or that she will boil the eggs for the W.H. Egg Roll.

Or that she was not reading a prepared script on a teleprompter.

The king survives on the backs of a mindless citizens.

Very expensive Political Theater and "patting one's self on the back". Blowing one's own horn. At A Boys all around.

soapy_725
43676
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soapy_725 09/06/12 - 09:56 am
1
0
Diphthong Challenged
Unpublished

Diphthong Challenged is a known handicap. Those dreaded "th" and "gh".
That pesky English Grammar stuff. Just give me the thought.

New Englanders replace "r" with "hm". Texans take those discarded "r" and add them to every word.

KSL
128792
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KSL 09/06/12 - 10:06 am
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4
Disliking the Obamas makes

Disliking the Obamas makes one a rhacist? Ignorant comment!

carcraft
25744
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carcraft 09/06/12 - 10:06 am
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2
Well excerpts of Woodward's

Well excerpts of Woodward's book have come out and it seems as if my view of Obama meshes with Woodward's. Arrogant, over confident and out of touch! Even slick Willie can't sell this mess of chitlin by product to the public .

Angie H
4300
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Angie H 09/06/12 - 10:17 am
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1
KSL....I'm hopeing that EEL's

KSL....I'm hopeing that EEL's comment was sarcasm.

justthefacts
21698
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justthefacts 09/06/12 - 10:30 am
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In reality

I don't think EEL thinks that, too smart. But, there are many less intelligent folk who sincerely believe it.

Jake
32497
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Jake 09/06/12 - 10:33 am
4
4
Gotcha!

While reading this editorial, I kept waiting for the "gotcha!" moment when there would be some sort of attack on Mrs Obama but it never came. I am stunned, to say the least. I didn't think the editorial staff was capable of typing the word "Obama" without following it up with a heap of negative comments. There is hope yet for this staff to be objective on occassion.
That being said, Mrs Obama should be a role model for all young women, not just women of color. Sounds like the old "credit to her race" schtick.
And as someone who has been in the gym more than a few times, I would say her shoulder developement is very toned. She looks good in a strapless dress.

effete elitist liberal
3112
Points
effete elitist liberal 09/06/12 - 10:45 am
4
4
on the subject of intelligent readers and posters....

Angie H and justthefacts, you got me right.
KSL? Well let's just say it's hard to find humor in things when you spend so much energy being angry....

Riverman1
83483
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Riverman1 09/06/12 - 11:07 am
3
2
She is a great First Lady and

She is a great First Lady and the speech was good. I respect her. Still I don't like socialists in the White House. As far as Bill Clinton, history is going to flat out laugh at him and his escapades in the Oval Office.

KSL
128792
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KSL 09/06/12 - 12:01 pm
2
2
I know eel was being

I know eel was being sarcastic.

KSL
128792
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KSL 09/06/12 - 12:09 pm
3
2
Eel, don't presume to know

Eel, don't presume to know me. I am pretty certain you don't like being wrong about anything.

Sargebaby
4693
Points
Sargebaby 09/06/12 - 12:37 pm
8
3
While Mrs. Obama may have

While Mrs. Obama may have been "an oasis amid the politics," she certainly didn't state the complete truth about her husband’s record. What PBO wanted to do, versus what he did, has not brought us to an oasis amid conservative opinions. You have to remember, Clinton is a "wordsmith," capable of making you believe that we're much better off than we were four years ago! All I have to say about that is, you should have listened to John Sununu this morning and you would have heard the facts, not some fancy way of word-smithing untruths.

Fiat_Lux
15342
Points
Fiat_Lux 09/06/12 - 01:26 pm
6
2
Absolutely on target, Sarge

Sununu doesn't miss a trick, hardly ever. Neither does Bill Bennett. That's where you'll find some genuine fair and balances, with intelligence and wit thrown in for good measure.

scgator
1042
Points
scgator 09/06/12 - 04:41 pm
5
2
I am not going to downplay

I am not going to downplay Mrs. Obama or even Mr. Obama, or even Mitt Romney..................but, here we are nearing the end of the Obama administration; and only have observations from down here at my level.......gas is over $1.00 a gallon higher (after telling voters that he would curtail it), we have a $16 trillion dollar debt (highest in history) and in this case, the democrats are in charge; NOW, tell me again, how we are so much better off than 4 years ago. At least 4 years ago, I was able to save some of my Social Security every month, now it will not last the month..............I don't care who or what party is in the white house right now, facts are facts...........no matter how many Bill Clintons you get to smile and say we're doing great !!!

itsanotherday1
42837
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itsanotherday1 09/06/12 - 06:11 pm
2
1
"Her fairy tale--however

"Her fairy tale--however well-delivered--was one great, big, colorful lie."

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/09/05/Fact-Check-Michelle-O...

AutumnLeaves
7591
Points
AutumnLeaves 09/06/12 - 06:21 pm
2
1
There is a difference....

There is a difference between a relatively well-delivered speech and a great one. It was a well-delivered speech. Michelle Obama should be and is quite proud of that. As for the content: most of it just didn't ring true to me.

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