BY ADEYEMI OSHUNRINADE
Dazzling and captivating are the words; the moment she took to the microphone you knew she meant business, wearing a red and pink dress befitting for a First Lady, Michelle Obama drew the crowd and captured the support of skeptics as she made the case that America should consider reelecting Barack Obama. Uplifting would be an understatement as there is no doubt many are moved and convinced by the emotional tone and humbling rendition of her speech.
With a parade of Democrats telling the audience that Mitt Romney and his Republican base do not get it right and therefore, out of touch with America; the night needed Michelle Obama to deliver the final blow which she did perfectly well without pointing accusative finger at the opposition, while at the same time, she touched on issues where the GOP has failed the people.
In contrast to Ann Romney’s speech delivered this past week at the GOP convention, Michelle presented and painted a family that understands the struggle every American has had to endure since the beginning of the crisis; she portrayed herself and her husband as a couple that once knew poverty, when she explained how her husband once picked her up with an old car at the early stage of their relationship. Though, she tried to shy away from being political, the move was a political indictment of Mr. Romney, showing him as being out of touch with the middle class and lacking the experience of the struggle poor Americans endure daily.
If there was a lead character responsible for making the case for Mr. Obama, it was indeed no other person but Michelle. She electrified the audience and party faithful when she said “Barack knows the American dream because he’s lived it, and he wants everyone in this country to have that same opportunity, no matter who we are, or where we’re from, or what we look like, or who we love.” She was not short of reminding supporters that despite all the past struggles and attacks, the President is still the same person people elected four years ago.
This was a move to convince wavering working and middle class voters that Mr. Obama, has not forgotten his commitments to them and that he understands the support base that got him elected four years ago and therefore, bent on delivering on his promises if he gets their support one more time. She emphasized on Mr. Obama’s believe that “when you’ve worked well, and walked through the doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you; you reach back and you give other folks the same chances that helped you succeed.” A statement that may be interpreted as a constructive attack on the conservative base, a move to remind voters that Mitt Romney, is not only out to shortchange the middle class, but also to slam the door on every opportunity that beckons at them.
Politics apart, Michelle aimed to convince voters that Mr. Obama is determined to bring change to people’s lives; to him it is more important than the red-blue partisan politics in Washington and the opposition attack on his every move to effect transformation. She said Mr. Obama believes “success isn’t about how much money you make; it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.” This of course, is a way of conveying to voters that of paramount importance to Mr. Obama, is the change he promised America and the success of the middle class that Mr. Romney is out to destroy.
The First Lady did not fail to appeal to youths and college students, a point I had earlier raised in my article on Ann Romney, where I said it is important for Mr. Obama to discuss the problems with college loans in his convention speech; the fact that Michelle raised the issue when she said “we were so young, so in love and so in debt; our combined student loan was more than our mortgage,” will appeal to youths in general. It demonstrates the Obamas are aware of the problem and can identify with youths faced with the dilemma of college loans.
She may have garnered more support from among women for Mr. Obama, when she reminded them of their fundamental right to choose; a move aimed as a critique of the recent mishap of the GOP on the abortion issue. The purpose is to remind women that unlike the GOP establishment, Mr. Obama is determined to respect the woman’s right to choose as settled by the decision in Roe v. Wade.
It would be a misstatement to say the First Lady, did not paint the picture of a President who deserves a second term; at a point her speech became emotional showing the seriousness of Mr. Obama’s commitment to helping others. She was moved to tears as she spoke about the American dream and how their parents worked hard to pay their tuition while in college; some in the audience shed tears as she spoke to signify how far she was able to bring the people along with the power of her speech.
Dr. Adeyemi Oshunrinade [E. JD] is the author of ‘Wills law and Contests,’ Constitutional Law-First Amendment’ and ‘SAVING LOVE’ a newly released work of fiction. Follow on Twitter @san0670.