Barry Soper: Michelle Obama's best speech yet

By Barry Soper

Eat your heart out Jackie O, Michelle O must be the coolest First Lady ever to grace the White House.

This Ivy league educated, 52-year-old former lawyer can get down with the best of them, rapping on the White House lawn about blacks going to college, was just one of her hits.

But she's given her best performance yet at the Democrats National Convention in Philadelphia. In fifteen minutes she had them spellbound, interspersed with bursts of sustained, roaring applause.

Just as well there are a couple of days between her and Hillary Clinton's podium performance!

Not once did Obama mention Donald Trump, although chances are Melania would have been taking notes. Obama didn't need to, he was crucified by implication, sometimes frighteningly so, when she talked about the power of the President with the nuclear codes at his fingertips and the military in his command.

Obama says the so called leader of the free world can't make snap decisions, they can't have a thin skin and they can't have a tendency to lash out. They have to be measured and well informed.

And you weren't left wondering who she was referring to when she talked about steering her two daughters through what she called, an unusual life in the spotlight. The hateful language they hear from public figures, she tells them, doesn't represent the true spirit of the country. When someone is cruel or acts like a bully, they shouldn't stoop to their level, instead she says they should live by the motto that "when they go low we go high."

And being on a high it made her reflect on being a black woman in the position she is today.

In a faltering voice she spoke of the generations of people who'd felt the lash of bondage, the shame of servitude and the sting of segregation who could never have envisaged a black woman waking up every morning in a house built by slave labour and watching her daughters playing with their dogs on the White House lawn.

After she sat down to rapturous applause you couldn't help but think that this deeply divided convention is endorsing a woman who's at her most unpopular ever in a race to the bottom with Donald Trump.

An indication of how divided they are came as Michelle Obama was followed by the Jim Anderton of American politics, Bernie Sanders, who stood for a full four minutes before he could get a word in above the applause, and delayed endorsing Clinton until he was thirteen minutes into licking his own wounds.

For a country, we're told by speaker after speaker, is the greatest place on earth, you'd have to say they seem to have a dearth of political talent at Presidential level.

- Newstalk ZB

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf02 at 27 Apr 2017 07:42:40 Processing Time: 658ms