Photo Credit: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images
Michelle Obama, you had me at hello. The first lady’s speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention was truly inspired, filled with personal anecdotes and reflections on her time in the White House. Although the entire speech was excellent, there were several key moments that really stood out, here are my favorites:
1. Being Introduced by Elaine Brye
I love that Elaine Brye, a mother of five who currently has four children serving in the military, introduced Michelle Obama. Brye’s thoughtful remarks provided the perfect segue for the first lady to talk about her gratitude to the men and women (as well as their families) that serve in our military. It was a good reminder of the commitment Michelle and Jill Biden share as they strive to recognize, honor and support those men, women and families who have sacrificed so much for our country.
2. Recognizing the Best of the American Spirit
Although she holds a lofty title, the first lady seemed quite down-to-earth as she talked about traveling around the country, seeing “the best of the American spirit.” Mrs. Obama grounded her observation in anecdotes about people who had shown her girls kindness and warmth and heroes who had put other people’s needs before their own. In a world that often seems to run on autopilot, it was heartening to hear about people making a difference, even if the gesture was as simple as being kind to someone else’s child.
3. Recalling their Love Story
As a divorced woman, I would have thought I would be unmoved by Michelle and Barack Obama’s love story. But when the first lady started to talk about her love for her husband, I was really quite touched. For many, the Obama’s “early years” are so familiar -- two people from humble beginnings that shared common goals and values, fell in love and built a life full of what the first lady called “simple joys.” As Michelle talked about her husband, it was clear that not only did she love the man, but she also respected him as her president.
4. Raising Awareness of Key Issues
I often think of myself as a fiscal conservative and social liberal, which means I rarely agree with the president’s fiscal policy, but on social issues I think he’s almost always right. So it’s not surprising that I let out an audible “YES!” when the first lady talked about her husband’s support of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and said that her husband believes women are more than capable of making decisions about their bodies and healthcare. I also loved that Mrs. Obama talked glowingly about marriage equality, highlighting “proud Americans who can be who they are and boldly stand at the altar with whom they love.”
5. She Delivered
Earlier in the day, Mrs. Obama spoke on a conference call with a group of reporters, including iVillage’s Kelly Wallace. During the call, the first lady said she would know her speech was a success if people received her remarks well. Judging from the cheers and applause that followed her speech, it’s fair to say Michelle Obama delivered on that promise. Now it’s up to her husband, the president, to seal the deal.
WATCH: Michelle Obama on Date Night with the President
iVoice Beth Engelman is a single mom living in the suburbs of Chicago. She writes for her local paper about family fun activities and frugal living. A fan of both Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan, Beth is currently “undecided” about which candidate she’ll vote for in this year’s upcoming election. For more information about Beth, visit www.mommyonashoestring.com.