Tuesday night, Michelle Obama took the stage at the Democratic National Convention to deliver an impassioned defense of her incompetent husband. It didn’t focus on his record. It focused on his feelings.
“Serving as your First Lady is an honor and a privilege … but back when we first came together four years ago, I still had some concerns about this journey we’d begun,” she said. “[T]he truth is, I loved the life we had built for our girls … I deeply loved the man I had built that life with … and I didn’t want that to change if he became President.”
Then she got into how poor Barack and she were. But, of course, this wasn’t true – Michelle was working as a junior associate at a law firm when they met, and Barack was a highly-paid summer associate at the same firm.
Michelle continued, touting the value of hard work – a value that Barack Obama has not exactly pushed for ordinary Americans. Speaking of her dad, she said, “He was so proud to be sending his kids to college … and he made sure we never missed a registration deadline because his check was late. You see, for my dad, that’s what it meant to be a man.” But that’s not what it means to the Obama administration, which incentivizes people not to pay their bills on time.
Michelle tells biographical details about her husband that we’ve never heard before. “Barack’s grandmother,” she said, “started out as a secretary at a community bank … and she moved quickly up the ranks … but like so many women, she hit a glass ceiling.” Perhaps the glass ceiling was that Barack’s grandmother was a typical white person, and her latent racism didn’t allow her to reach beyond that ceiling. Or not.
In essence, Michelle portrays Obama as a hard work and play fair kind of guy, completely skipping pertinent biographical details like his community organizing background (she later labels it an attempt to “get folks back to work,” which is the sheerest nonsense), his career in the Illinois state legislature, his cush job as a University of Chicago lecturer, and his years in the pews of Jeremiah Wright.
Once Michelle got past the biographical background, she launched into the real campaign speech: how tough Obama’s job was. Now, it’s never becoming for a president to talk about how tough his job is – he ran for it, and he’s got it. But Michelle played that card with gusto. “I’ve seen how the issues that come across a President’s desk are always the hard ones … as President, you can get all kinds of advice from all kinds of people.” But who does he listen to? Why, his “vision” and “life experiences” – vision and life experiences that are polar opposite to Michelle glowing version of her husband. Barack, said Michelle, is “thinking about the pride that comes from a hard day’s work.”
Really? Then why is he so focused on food stamps? On work requirements under Welfare? On bailing out bad homeowners? On handing out free contraceptives via religious institutions?
But let Michelle continue: “Barack knows the American Dream because he’s lived it … and he wants everyone in this country to have that same opportunity, no matter who we are, or where we’re from, or what we look like, or who we love.”
This is demagoguery of the highest order. Nobody is stopping gays or blacks or Latinos or anyone else in America from succeeding or achieving the American Dream. Only in Barack Obama’s mind – and apparently, Michelle’s — does it require government to force the American Dream to come true.
But at the end of the day, it isn’t Barack’s failure that matters. It’s that he cares. That’s what Michelle said: “That’s the man I see in those quiet moments late at night, hunched over his desk, poring over the letters people have sent him.” He might better spend those moments calling other legislators … or, hell, reading Milton Friedman. But what matters to Michelle and to Obama’s fans is that he’s a good guy. “I see the concern in his eyes … and I hear the determination in his voice as he tells me, ‘You won’t believe what these folks are going through, Michelle … it’s not right. We’ve got to keep working to fix this. We’ve got so much more to do.” Caring matters. Results don’t.
Finally, Michelle entered her truly false section: she claimed that Obama wants to unify the country. “I love that for Barack,” said Michelle, “there is no such thing as ‘us’ and ‘them’ – he doesn’t care whether you’re a Democrat, a Republican, or none of the above … he knows that we all love our country … and he’s always ready to listen to good ideas … he’s always looking for the very best in everyone he meets.” This is a lie. Obama has never been a compromiser. He has implied that George W. Bush was a traitor. He has ripped the Tea Party as a bunch of rubes and unsophisticates. He has never come to the middle, instead governing from the hard left.
She finished with a grand bit of flowery rhetoric – and it was indeed grand. In concluding, she linked gay rights with Martin Luther King Jr. (an insulting linkage) and she suggested that hope would die if her husband lost his re-election. “If we want to give all our children a foundation for their dreams and opportunities worthy of their promise … if we want to give them that sense of limitless possibility – that belief that belief that here in America, there is always something better out there if you’re willing to work for it … then we must work like never before … and we must once again come together and stand together for the man we can trust to keep moving this great country forward … my husband, our President, President Barack Obama.”
Obama is hope. Obama is change. Obama is The One, at least to Michelle.
But the man she describes isn’t real. And he isn’t Obama. If he were, perhaps he’d be worthy of re-election.
Read Mrs. Obama’s full remarks below: