August 25th, 2008
11:45 PM ET
15 years ago

Gergen: Michelle Obama rescued the night

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Michelle Obama rescued the night, Gergen says. "]The Democrats should be enormously grateful to Michelle Obama: after a very slow start to the convention, punctuated by a moving tribute to Teddy Kennedy and his own rousing speech, the first evening was in danger of becoming an entirely lost opportunity. But Michelle rescued it.

She was extraordinary, talking in ways that were both conversational - always welcome in people's living room - but also inspiring. She spoke in ways that reached out to people of all backgrounds. Democrats should be both proud and grateful.

It is impossible to know whether how many people will accept her message. To a significant degree, that is of course because she represents such a departure from the traditional order of things in America. She represents a new future - of women who are not only devoted mothers and wives but also highly educated, caring people ... and, yes, African-Americans, Hispanics, and people of many diferent backgrounds. One day the country will be there. Is it prepared to be there now? I'm frankly not sure. We are living through one of the most important chapters in the American story

soundoff (483 Responses)
  1. Eno

    What Michelle did, was to show a man who is not just responsible, but caring and affection. Who will always be there with you, for you and by you at all times. A man who cared more about the generation after him and their American dreams. Today, she has made me more proud of this son, brother, husband and father. For Michelle I love your strength and courage as a sister, wife and above all a mother. You are one in a million. Obama, you are the best.

    August 26, 2008 04:25 am at 4:25 am |
  2. robby10001

    Monday was never intended to be a Democratic Party Power Point Presentation. It was part introduction, and part reminder, of the powerful values and extraordinary individuals that the Democrats offer America. It was an unqualified success.

    August 26, 2008 04:27 am at 4:27 am |
  3. njambi kabiru

    Ok. Michelle, you are a woman and a half! congratulations

    August 26, 2008 04:35 am at 4:35 am |
  4. Chris

    That sounds a lot like what was written about Hillary.

    August 26, 2008 04:41 am at 4:41 am |
  5. Cali King

    We learned from the Olympics that we all share the same dreams, hopes, and values no matter where we came from. Michelle Obama is the epitome of the American dream. Barack Obama is the epitome of the American dream. Dreams are destinations, we need only to find the road to take us there.

    Obama-Biden 2008
    Obama-Biden 2012

    August 26, 2008 04:53 am at 4:53 am |
  6. Kanaka Hawaii

    I guess I watched a different convention because I have a totally different view of the first day. It began with images outside the convention center. There were diverse groups of Americans practicing their civil liberties, and for the most part these groups managed to be civil although vocal with the media as well as each other. Those who weren't peaceful or civil were handled by the security personnel that were plainly stationed. These demonstrations were great reminders to all of us that we're one of the few nations on Earth that guarantee its citizens certain unalienable rights. The meetings and speeches themselves were also exceptional, particularly those given by Jesse Jackson, Nancy Pelosi, Ted Kennedy, and of course Michelle and her brother, Craig. The most profound message that I came away with on this first evening, is that the Democrats and their candidates are offering a platform of unification and not division for US. I believe Senator Clinton will be adding to the unity message on Tuesday. Those people who claim to be disgruntled Clinton supporters and who claim that they are going to vote for McCain don't sound real to me. If they really supported the issues that Senator Clinton has been working for, they'd never throw their vote away to a man who's supports the opposite of everything she stands for. To me, they're really Republican wolves masquerading as Democrats. I also think that Speaker Pelosi's mantra that McCain is "wrong" should be a continuing theme for the campaign. Wrong way McCain sounds right to me.

    August 26, 2008 04:55 am at 4:55 am |
  7. Recovering Republican

    It was a beautiful speech on a beautiful first night. There was a deep-felt, sincere feeling of optimism at the convention that, quite frankly, we've not seen for several months. I've become so upset with my (now former) party because of their insistence to manipulate votes with fear rather than earn them with insight. Shame on the media for rewarding their behavior (Carville was upset that there wasn't enough dirty politics tonight). I've never seen such a blatant and distateful smear job like the one Sen McCain enacted against Sen Obama, particularly since it was Sen McCain himself who was a horrendous victim of a smear job in 2000, where a series of print and TV ads ran discussing Mr. McCain's extra-marital affair, highlighting Cindy McCain's drug addiction and subsequent theft from a charity to support her habit, and, most cruely implying that the McCains' adopted daughter was the product of a further extra-marital affair (CNN, please do not flag this post–I do not condone what the GOP did in 2000–I am simply explaining the severity of what was done to McCain to prove the point that it is unconsciounable that Mr. McCain would immediately do this to Sen. Obama). I respect Sen Obama for honoring his commitment to stay positive as he endured several weeks of gross lies and attacks, and I agree that he was ultimately left with no choice other than to respond. I'm so glad we saw at least one night of optimism from the Dems instead of immediately launching attacks, as I don't expect the Republicans to do the same. Anytime McCain slips up, he takes the Giuliani approach and uses a noun, a verb, and Vietmanese prison. We ALL respect his service, but there is an appropriate time to bring that up, and it's not when you're trying to explain how someone with (we now know) 10 homes empathises with the rest of us. It's been hard for me to stay positive in even writing this article, so I truly respect the Dems for being united enough to bring us some optimish tonight. Thank you!!!

    August 26, 2008 04:56 am at 4:56 am |

    It was great,'The moment With Michelle Obama',And it was touching,
    The moment with Senator Kennedy.generally it was a great night
    including all other speakers.greater moment are yet to come. we will keep watching.

    August 26, 2008 05:55 am at 5:55 am |
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