By Monique Jones
The Birmingham Times
The highlight of the first night of the Democratic National Convention came from First Lady Michelle Obama.
Obama, who had been billed as a highlight of Monday evening, delivered a speech that not only took on the rhetoric of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, but challenged undecided voters and staunch supporters of former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders to vote with their children’s futures in mind.
“With every word we utter, with every action we take, we know our kids are watching us,” she said. “We as parents are their most important role models. And let me tell you, Barack and I take that same approach to our jobs as President and First Lady, because we know that our words and actions matter not just to our girls, but to children across this country[.]” Obama said that presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is the person America can trust. “…I’ve seen her lifelong devotion to our nation’s children—not just her own daughter, who she has raised to perfection—but every child who needs a champion[,]” she said.
Obama’s speech also provided context for her husband’s historic presidency, and why she feels Clinton is the best inheritor of President Barack Obama’s legacy. “…I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves—and I watch my daughters—two beautiful, intelligent, black young women–playing with their dogs on the White House lawn,” she said. “And because of Hillary Clinton, my daughters–and all our sons and daughters—now take for granted that a woman can be President of the United States.”
In response to Trump’s statements questioning her husband’s religious beliefs and citizenship, Obama provides a rebuttal without ever mentioning Trump by name. In her speech, she stated that she and her husband urge their daughters to ignore opinions that don’t represent the whole of America. “…[W]e explain that when someone is cruel, or acts like a bully, you don’t stoop to their level—no, our motto is, when they go low, we go high,” she said.
Obama cinched her critique of Trump with this statement: “…[D]on’t let anyone every tell you that this country isn’t great, that somehow we need to make it great again. Because this, right now, is the greatest country on earth.”
Read the entirety of Obama’s speech at the Democratic National Convention’s Medium channel.