The Motown Sound was the backdrop for Michelle Obama, the wife of Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama, to deliver the speech that would give the nation a better glimpse at who her husband is. Michelle Obama was introduced Monday evening at the Democratic Convention, first by her older brother, Craig Robinson, head basketball coach at Oregon State and then to the Stevie Wonder hit “I Was Made To Love Her.”
How fitting that the Motown tune was selected to showcase Michelle Obama because essentially, that is what her speech set out to do. Michelle Obama’s mission in her speech Monday was a two-fold one. The first goal that Michelle Obama set forthin her speech was to connect with those would-be voters who believe that she and her husband are ‘elitists’. By repeatedly emphasizing that she is a girl from the ‘south side’ of Chicago, a traditional working class family that maintained strong familial ethics with the very same goals and dreams as every other American family, Michelle Obama commented that “the American Dream endures. Barackand I were raised with the same values.”
Recognizing that Monday marked the 88th anniversary of women obtaining the legal right to vote and the 45th anniversary of Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream” speech, Michelle Obama poignantly said that “I stand here today at that cross current of history knowing that my piece of the American Dream is a blessing and hard earned by all of them.”
Among those that Michelle Obama recognized for their “hard earned” trek into history is Senator Hillary Clinton:
“…People like Hillary Clinton who put those 18 million cracks in that glass ceiling so that our daughters and sons can dream a little bigger and aim a little higher.”
The second and most important connection that Michelle Obama’s speech was intented to make is why her husband should be elected to the highest office in the country. Through out her speech, Michelle Obama made many a reference to Barack’s core values, his hope, dedication, resilence and concern for the citizens of America. Michelle Obama reminded the Convention delegates that her husband’s intentions has never been to acquire wealth and prestige, but to help those less fortunate.
Concluding her speech, Michelle Obama summed it all up this way:
“This [election] we will listen to our hope instead of our fears. This time we decide to stop doubting and to start dreaming. This [election] time, in this great country where a girl from the ‘South Side’ of Chicago can go to college and law school and the son of a single mother from Hawaii can go all the way to the White House…we have committed ourselves to building the world as it should be.”
At the end of Michelle Obama’s passionate and at times, emotional speech, Motown shut it down again with Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely?” The Obama’s two daughters joined their mother onstage with Senator Barack Obama, via satellite, to congratulate Michelle on a job well done. As the Obama family left the stage, another legendary Motown group, The Spinners’ “A Mighty Love,” ushered in the conclusion of the Obama campaign’s orchestrated love fest.
Did Michelle Obama’s speech Monday do the job that it was intended to do? Will voters, come November, choose Barack Obama because he is the champion of the oppressed, a loving husband and father, and the Presidential hopeful that can most effectively establish the frequently over-used word “change?” Will voters see Barack Obama as a beneficiary of the “American Dream” and a conduit to theirs? Can Barack Obama deliver on his campaign promises of universal health care and a “responsible end to the War?”
Michelle Obama would have us to believe that Barack Obama can do all of this and leap a building in a single bound.