First Lady Michelle Obama gave a rousing and emotional appeal to Democrats on the opening night of their nominating convention by laying out the choice in November in stark terms: Who do you want to mold the next generation?
“I am here tonight because in this election there is only one person who I trust with that responsibility,” Obama said. “There is only one person who is truly qualified to be president of the United States, and that is our friend Hillary Clinton.”
Obama’s speech was one of many attempts by speakers on night one to unify a fractured party that includes voters angry at the party establishment and distrustful of the presumptive nominee.
The first lady portrayed the seriousness of the repercussions of the election: Electing someone who understands the world is more complicated than "140 characters."
Polling shows that voters find Clinton untrustworthy or dishonest. Obama outlined a different set of Clinton's characteristics, emphasizing her tenacity, her steadiness and her work ethic.
“Hillary Clinton has never quit anything in her life,” Obama said. “She never buckles under pressure. She never takes the easy way out.”
Without naming him, she contrasted Clinton with Republican nominee Donald Trump, whom she painted as erratic and self-centered.
She said she wants someone as president “whose life works shows our children we don’t chase fame and fortune for ourselves.”
“When you have the nuclear codes at your fingertips and the military at your command, you can’t have a thin skin or a tendency to lash out,” Obama said.
Obama’s speech was quite personal, revealing that on the first day her two young children started their new school in Washington, D.C., she watched them drive off in a Secret Service SUV and asked herself, “What have we done?”
She referenced the complicated relationship she has with living in the White House. “I wake up everyday in a house that was built by slaves,” she said, adding that she is also able to watch her black children play with their dog on the White House lawn.
While her speech focused on children and their future, criticism of Trump was woven through out.
She said she and President Barack Obama have taught daughters Sasha and Malia to “ignore those who question their father’s citizenship or faith,” something Trump has done.
“Our motto is: When they go low we go high,” Obama said.