Michelle Obama ‘Hit Homerun’ at Democratic Convention

But, Will it Resonate With Hillary Clinton Supporters?


DENVER (NNPA) – Some delegates and visitors who left Denver’s Pepsi Center on Monday night had a look of euphoria on their faces like they’d seen something totally mystifying.

“Michelle hit a homerun – plus,” said Elsie Burkwalter, a super delegate from a city that she called “Katrinaville, Louisianna,” obviously New Orleans. “When she did a comparison of the way that she and Barack were raised and the values that her family taught her and that his taught him, it turns out that they both stand for what America is about.”

Young and old, the sentiments were the same. “It was a pivotal moment in history,” marveled 17- year-old New York native, Emma Christman. “And to have an African-American woman to finish off the night…”

Colette Divine of Los Angeles, said she just cried. ”She moved me to tears. She’s just so genuine. To see people rising together just gives me hope.” The women were in awe over the speech given by Michelle Obama, the wife of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama as Democrats prepared for his official nomination at Invesco Field Thursday.

“Barack and I set out to build lives guided by these values, and pass them on to the next generation. Because we want our children – and all children in this nation – to know that the only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them,” her clear, passionate voice resonated throughout the gigantic center, where it seems everyone had paused for the keynote speaker of the evening.

In the speech, scripted to help Americans of all races and backgrounds establish empathy and rapport with the Democratic nominee, Obama talked personally about her husband and family to an America that has historically oppressed Black peo- ple. She was introduced by her brother, Craig Robinson, as an “impassioned public servant, a loving daughter, wife and mother, my little sister and our nation’s next first lady.”

Her mother looked on from the audience, applauding her daughter’s numerous references to her humble upbringing on the “Southside of Chicago.”

Despite the magnetism and Michelle Obama’s passion and the standing ovation after her speech, there was a resistance stirring in the atmosphere in the “mile high” city as some supporters of former Democratic Primary rival Hillary Clinton, remained hard-pressed to let go of their now dashed hopes that somehow Clinton would be the nominee.

One woman, who asked not to be identified, said she felt that some in the audience were intentionally cool to Mrs. Obama.

“You watch how they go crazy over Hillary Clinton,” she predicted the reaction to Clinton, who was set to speak to the convention on Tuesday night. “I just wished they had been a little warmer and more embracing.”

Democratic Party leaders pushed for unity during the convention that prepared for the nominees’ message of “change” as well as demonstrated change itself.

Traditional civil rights leaders did not speak during the prime time hours of the convention. But, they were remembered.

“Fellow Democrats, this is an historic moment. I know. I grew up with the lessons of another generation, my father’s generation,” said U. S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., who spoke early Monday. “I know his stories of struggle and sacrifice, of fear and division. I know America is still a place where dreams are too often deferred and opportunities too often denied.”

He continued, “But here’s what I also know. I know that while America may not be perfect, our union can always be perfected. I know what we can achieve when good people with strong convictions come together around a common purpose.”

That “common purpose” appears illusive to some as pundits are mystified as to why Obama, with impeccable credentials and the ability to inspire millions around the world, is still running neck-in-neck with Republican Sen. John McCain during a time when the Republican President George Bush is at his lowest in popularity.

Senator Ted Kennedy, still recuperating from brain surgery for removal of a tumor, perhaps best illustrated the level of hope that it will take for all Americans – including many Democrats – to believe that Obama can run America.

In remarks before the crowd of thousands Monday, Kennedy said, “We are told that Barack Obama believes too much in an America of high principle and bold endeavor. But when John Kennedy called for going to the moon, he didn’t say it’s too far to get there. We shouldn’t even try. Our people answered his call and rose to the challenge, and today an American flag still marks the surface of the moon. Yes, we are all Americans. This is what we do. We reach the moon. We scale the heights. I know it. I’ve seen it. I’ve lived it. And we can do it again.”

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