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Michelle Obama: Patching the Wounds of a Battered, Broken Party

by Steve Peace, published

Can one woman stand before an angry, seemingly irreversible tide, stop it dead in its tracks, and rehabilitate and relaunch a battered, sinking ship?

Michelle Obama may have done just that in a masterful speech to a divided Democratic Convention. She not only reset the stage, she reset the mood. She showed style, grace, sophistication, and a textured understanding of the power of connecting personal experience to public policy.

The power of her criticism of Donald Trump was embedded in her positive energy and nuanced references to both her experience and that of Hilary Clinton, as First Ladies and mothers tossed into raising their own children in the public eye.

Without a hint of anger, she contrasted that experience by noting her awareness that it was "not just her children that were watching."

She was sticking to the script set up by weeks of Clinton commercials. But, she did it with an ease and a genuineness that bled through every word, every pause, and every gesture.

Regardless of your politics or your view of the Obama presidency, you can't miss the contribution Michelle Obama has made during eight years as America's First Lady. She has consistently performed her role with dignity and class.

Last night she turned that equity to the benefit of Hillary Clinton. And, she did it with a sincerity that cannot be faked.

The Democrats would do well to resist the temptation to out Trump, Trump. They can't win that fight. If it wasn't clear to them, it should have become clear when Mrs. Obama was followed by Elizabeth Warren who wasted no time deflating the moment.

The Democrats would have hit a home run had they just shut down and let the mood linger for 24 hours rather than turn so quickly to the same old, same old politics of fear and division ironically articulated as "opposing the politics of fear and division."

But, in any case, Americans can stay with the moment, linger with the thought, at least attach themselves to the memory of 8 years of public service by Michelle Obama that will no doubt pay dividends in ways we will never recognize for decades to come.

Right. Left. Center. Republican. Libertarian. Green. Democrat. Regardless how we plan to vote. We all owe a thank you to the gracious lady who, under the microscope of the White House, raised her own children with care and attention and set a fine example for all of ours.

Photo Credit: Krista Kennell /

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