August 18, 2020


Michelle Obama tells 'the cold hard truth' in a searing DNC keynote speech (Christina Wilkie, 8/17/20, CNBC)

Michelle Obama had one message for Americans at Monday night's Democratic National Convention: "If you think things cannot possibly get worse, trust me, they can; and they will if we don't make a change in this election." It was a dire warning, but it captured the essence of a speech marked by a sense of urgency and bleak realism.

The former first lady painted a picture of what she said young people, including her two daughters, see around them in America today.

"They see people shouting in grocery stores, unwilling to wear a mask to keep us all safe," Obama said in the prerecorded speech. "They see an entitlement that says only certain people belong here, that greed is good, and winning is everything because as long as you come out on top, it doesn't matter what happens to everyone else."

"Sadly, this is the America that is on display for the next generation," she said. "That's not just disappointing; it's downright infuriating."

Obama has long been admired on both sides of the aisle for her ability to deliver inspiring and motivating speeches. To this day, she remains one of the most sought-after campaign surrogates in all of politics. 

But if viewers tuned into the Democratic convention Monday expecting to see the same warm, welcoming, "mom-in-chief" version of Michelle Obama they had grown accustomed to during her eight years in the White House, they were in for a wake-up call. 

Obama herself seemed to acknowledge this, describing how she reframes one of her best-known phrases, "when they go low, we go high," when people ask her today how to "go high" in the face of a president like Donald Trump. 

"Going high does not mean putting on a smile and saying nice things when confronted by viciousness and cruelty. Going high means taking the harder path. It means scraping and clawing our way to that mountain top," Obama said.

"Going high means standing fierce against hatred. ... And going high means unlocking the shackles of lies and mistrust with the only thing that can truly set us free: the cold hard truth."

Posted by at August 18, 2020 2:22 PM