Quote of the Day
“Now, the fact that a lot of Americans are still opposed not simply to the presidency of Barack Obama but to the idea of the presidency of Barack Obama is not something that Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, or in fact any Democratic speechmaker will talk about at the convention. But it's indisputable, and it accounts for the almost fantastic nature of what many Americans think of both the president and the First Lady. To be sure, they're politically vulnerable on merit; but they're also vulnerable because even, after their four years in office, a weirdly unvarying percentage of America does not accept them as Americans. It is prejudice, pure and simple, and it manifests itself less in polling results than it does in a political discourse warped by whispers and suspicions kept sub rosa.
”And so it was hard to say what Michelle Obama had to do on Tuesday night, because so much of what she had to do tonight was something outside the realm of polite speech. Republican commentators spoke almost winsomely of Ann Romney's need to humanize Mitt Romney; but no Democratic commentator could speak of the necessity of 'Americanizing' Barack Obama without indulging the worst instincts of the American electorate. So what Michelle Obama did, quite simply, was engage the best. I sat with the Ohio delegation as she spoke, and I watched from close up as she went from one thing — a woman of glamor and poise, in a dress the color of sherbet and matching heels — to quite another, in the course of a single speech. She never sounded embattled on Tuesday, but she was clearly responding to something, and it was this aspect of her speech that lent it a special force...
“Tuesday night's speech had an almost lonely power, because it wasn't only about him but about them — about a couple that has changed the world, only to be misperceived. And it addressed those misperceptions not by naming them but by rising above them, and inviting the rest of America to rise above them, too.”
--Tom Junod, “The Lonely Power of Michelle and the Idea of Barack,” on THE POLITICS BLOG at esquire.com
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