August 25th, 2008
11:45 PM ET
14 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. W O W WO W

    A -V E R Y-O R D I N A R Y-N I G H T-–W I T H -M E S S A G E--

    O M M I T E D-–A N D-M I C H E L L E--T R Y I N G-T O--D O----

    A-–P L E A S E--F O R G I V E -–M E--F O R--M Y--P A S T---

    F O O T-I N-M O U T H--D E B A C L E S

    August 25, 2008 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  2. Sharon

    I would not know I watched a movie instead.

    August 25, 2008 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  3. isiw

    Thanks, David. Someone who gets it.

    August 25, 2008 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  4. Joe Reed

    I don't like David Gergen, too slow and boring and very anti-Obama, but for once I agreed with him tonight. Michelle Obama hit a grand slam.

    August 25, 2008 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  5. Mark

    It absolutely amazes me that a news station like CNN can claim the Democratic party wasted the night by not focusing their attention on Bush and the economic sorrows of the day but yet showed little to none of the speakers throughout the night. Give me a little more of the convention and a little less of Wolf, Anderson and James telling us their opinion and the American public might be able to form their own opinion of what was accomplished. For a second i thought the CNN trio was heading up the convention and Carville was going to replace Michelle on the podium during her speach. I went to public access just to see what was really goign on at the convention. The coverage on CNN tonight has proven to me that i CANNOT rely on this station to provide me the type of coverage this convention deserves. Thank you for once again proving that the media has a wonderful way of ruining a wonderful start to a potentialy electrifying week.

    August 25, 2008 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  6. Sue

    Michele hit a homerun!!

    Thank God for C-Span without all the negative spin, spin, spin.

    This convention is to show what we are FOR..............I guess Mr. Carville still does not understand why his candidate lost the primary. We the American people are tired of the hate, divide, conquer of the old political regimes. We want to quit TALKING and start ACCOMPLISHING our goals. There is enough time to Senator McCain's true character and emphasis his weak policy record and the SAME policies he intends to push forward. NOT THIS TIME We will emphasis McCain's record on Veteran's issues, we will point out how out of touch he is with the everyday American. There are still 80+ days for that. Right now WE need something to believe in. WE need to trust our politicians again. Senator Clair McClaskill was great tonight as well. Give her credit.

    Obama/Biden 2008 + 2012

    August 25, 2008 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  7. lila

    She is everything I want to be.

    August 25, 2008 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  8. Mark Ferbet, Grain Valley Missouri

    Michelle is a great speaker...

    Tonight was about change... and the focus was for the most part positive. She was positive, on topic, and introductry to the Obama family, and the work they have done.

    She will make a brilliant First Lady.

    August 25, 2008 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  9. Rave

    Just learnt that it is not just the head of Carville that's Bald.. it's Bald inside his head too.
    Is he watching what we are watching (or) is he still in some dreamland, where Hillary wins the nomination?
    OBAMA (2008 -16)

    August 25, 2008 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |

    Michelle Obama was outstanding. She was a shining star of the
    eveneing. Michelle was beautiful tonight internally and externally.
    Intelligent. She had the audience in tears and some in awe. They

    Did not really want to say anything negative tonight. I love the Democratic positive motivational progress in this election. I just
    cannot bring myself to listen to LARRY KING LIVE with all the
    negatives from the GOPS. America finally had a happy evening.
    WHY RUIN IT with Republican trashing of the Dems.
    Wrong choice on the Dems night. Are you going to do that
    on Larry King the night of the Reps Convention. The Democrats
    probably don't want to do that anyway.


    August 25, 2008 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  11. Nikki

    I think James Carville should show more support. It's almost like he and the media couldn't wait to tear the 1st night of the convention down. We understand it's a fight for the white house, but can we not come out swinging like animals and not be criticized for it. Wow, James be a democrat we need you to help unify the party not be the very first to point out our flaws and keep us apart. I love Donna Brazille, she's the best. Michelle Obama is amazing, I've never heard a speech like that in my life. I'm 40 years old next month and that was amazing!!!!!!! Obama '08 Let's go... That was unbelievable, Barack has a hard act to follow...

    August 25, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  12. Obama For President/Biden For Vice President

    Gergen is a little cranky tonite.................could it be because his girl Hillary did not make VP? I totally disagree, the night was perfect. The people was happy and I was happy because I watched C-span without the spin; really enjoyed the program to the end. Teddy Kennedy, Claire, and Michelle did a WONDERFUL job. I can't get enough of this event.........plan to watch all week.

    August 25, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  13. Dennis F

    Once again, the Democratic Party continues to make the same mistakes. The first day of the convention was totally a strike out.

    Obama is supposed to be an intelligent bright politician and you would think that he would have used some of this intelligence to at least given Hillary Clinton some respect and consider her for his running mate as VP. He could have at least given her that much and then proceeded to select Biden. This would have gone over well with her supporters including myself but this was not his plan.

    This decision to not give her at least some respect and consideration makes me wonder if he really is that smart and ready for this challenge. At this point I probably will not vote for anybody. Well of course many people will jump all over this but from my perspective Obama is just all hype and no substance once again, America chooses the wrong person to fixe the problems.

    Once again America is all about opting/choosing the SIZZLE and not the SUBSTANCE. All the Hollywood types are out there like the idiots they are praising the candidate that has no real track record except the one that has been fabricated, Democrats are going to be lucky at best if they win this one. You would think that Obama would have done more to bring over all of the Clinton delegates. Well Good Luckkkkkk!

    August 25, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  14. Peter Dean

    Michelle Obama "rescued the night" from the knee-jerk, cliched analysis provided by Mr. Carville and others. Had the convention focused on bashing Mr. Bush and all Republicans undoubtedly the analysis would have focused on how negative the Democrats had become. Change is the focus of the Obama campaign. Perhaps you all should focus on reporting the news instead of trying to make it.

    August 25, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  15. Musicpromo

    She was great! I have faith that the people of this country are not only ready but need to step up and be the nation that we say we are. We are AMERICA! We can do anything that we put our mind to.

    In this extraordinary time we have to look at are history and see where we where and where we are going.

    The USA jhas been inspiring to people are over the world and with he speach tonight she reached out to people of all backgrounds. Every American should be both proud and grateful for the this is what american stands for an American story!

    August 25, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  16. concen

    michelle Obama done a great job showing and telling how she and Obama feel about us the people ..and this country ...she brought tears to many eyes ...she is a beautiful person ....and brought the truth to the people ...and yet gave the repubulicans ..nothing ...go Obama all the way to the white house ...

    August 25, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  17. Texas Vet

    I switched to PBS, they did not interrupt any of the speeches and gave a fair neutral analysis including historical references that included positive things about both the Republican and Democratic Party. If really brought home how different the current Republican party is.

    I believe the goal of the Democratic Convention is not to attack McCain, but to help us understand who Barack Obama really is. I enjoyed watching Ted Kennedy reminding us that it is our social responsibility to make this a better place for everyone. The speech by Michelle Obama was terrific.

    It exposed us to the personal side of Barack and drove home that both Michelle and Obama didn’t climb up the Money Tree but focused on Community Service. Anyone who watched that speech and still feels that the Obamas are a couple of flim-flam radical impostors are basically brain dead, juvenile enough to be led by blind emotions or a liar.

    August 25, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  18. aileen mucangi minnesota

    indeed we should go for this exciting new future and be oblivious of the past. Together we can make it happen by casting our votes for Barack Obama.

    August 25, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  19. Truthteller

    I was truly not bothered by the length of the program. The information and the speakers were good and filled the night. I watched on the tv and on my laptop and my desktop. I am happy that the Clintons whinning and griping was mentioned and I hope that it continues to be mentioned because she lost and carvell and the clintons can't believe that she lost because they thought that bill had made it for hill. They can't believe that it is over. It Is.

    Obama 08 09 10 12 thru 16

    The Truthteller in Stone Mountain, GA

    August 25, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  20. Nick

    Great speech. Very moving. Wow ! What a heart warming experience for every American. I was encouraged that the Lord allowed me to experience this special moment in our history. I look forward to the next few days. And to those who say the dems are not UNIFIED" THINK AGAIN" We core values are clear. Wemight disagree on some issues but the goal is clear. Thank Michelle, Change is on the way.

    August 25, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  21. Mark Baldaccini

    The Democrats put the icing on the cake tonight. They got into our sub conscious minds. First Senator Kennedy reminded us about his brother, John and then Michelle Obama spoke about her family. Some how Camelot has returned. Think about what happened!!!

    August 25, 2008 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  22. Enough of the insanity

    I'm glad I watched MSNBC for the 1st night of the DNC convention. CNN is just getting to negative. Even those MSNBC analysts who don't agree with Obama politically had very positive things to say about Ted Kennedy and Michelle Obama's speech. I agree with a lot of other posters on CNN, this campaign is supposed to be about bringing people together, not some dodgeball game. Michelle gave much respect and credit to Hillary Clinton tonight and the little Obama girls were just adorable. It will be nice to have a young family back in the White House again.

    August 25, 2008 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  23. Jamie from San Francisco

    Has any other First family ever said I love you to each other on national television? I don't recall ever seeing it. They have what so many people want and hope for in a family. What kind of family will McCain show? America needs hope and to be hopeful. It was a great way to start off the week.

    August 25, 2008 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  24. M

    I think she sank the ship.

    August 25, 2008 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  25. Clint Brown

    Perhaps, you jaded men have missed the point. Tonight was not for the pundits, the republicans or the pols ... tonight was for the women ... and was very, very effective. Let's face it, the Obama's are not typical ... they are the voices of positive change

    August 25, 2008 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
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