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. Carey

    Thank you Michelle for showing that a woman in America can be all those things. Exceptional woman, exceptional speech. Don't forget that this is a different politic- better than sinking low to dis McCain.

    August 26, 2008 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  2. Adam

    The Obama Campaign has to feel pretty sore tonight about the fact that they have a party that is fraturing before thier eyes. Thank goodness the cable networks did not cover the entire event because it was downright embarrasing to watch Nancy Pelosi try to speak to a national audience and to have a resident of New Orleans blame the entire response on our federal government when it was demonstrated so clearly how the local and state governments were so broken. Could it be because the Mayor and Governor at the time were both Democrats??? Do you ever wonder why Florida and many states in the midwest handle disasters so well? It is because local and state officials are doing thier jobs.

    Hopefully, the rest of this convention will be more of the same. It would be welcome news for John McCain and our country.

    August 26, 2008 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  3. Sergio

    Not! Thumbs down.

    August 26, 2008 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  4. GoMcCain08


    Who cares what the lying Democratic party leaders have to say. They are cheats, and so bad at cheating that a over a third of Democrats are leaving the party.

    Get real. Michelle has nothing to say that the average American would care to hear.

    August 26, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  5. Gabe

    Three cheers to Dave. CNN – Stop the attacks on Obama and cover the news without looking to spin a story. CNN gave short sighted instant analysis rather than thoughtful commentary. CNN failed to show speeches and kept trying their best to create a Clinton controversey where none existed. I am watching CSPAN the rest of the convention.

    August 26, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |

    It was an amazing speech, one of the best I've ever heard. Unfortunately, puma's will never accept it. Michelle's little girls, my daughter, your daughter and countless others will lose a little slice of their rights when McCain goes on to win.

    He will replace the 3 retiring liberal leaning supreme court justices and even if many get their wish (Clinton in 2012) the damage will be done. It's time to face the facts, this is a conservative country and the Obama will lose because of spite and hatred.

    It is a sad, sad day.

    August 26, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  7. JB

    Is it too late to make Michelle the nominee? I don't want to wait eight years !

    August 26, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  8. Female

    I agree Dave that's why I was watching MSNBC. Nancy Pelosi did speak about how Wrong McLame was. I don't think tonight was a missed opportunity, I think the media just wants to have opposing arguments, which is really sad. Tonight could've been better in my eyes..

    August 26, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  9. Slash Firestorm

    CNN's coverage (or rather, lack of it) tonight was disgusting. They tried to mask it as best as they could, but every time they criticized the speakers for not having substance it just came out as "we want more ratings-earning talk, not this silly party-rallying, party-uniting stuff". It was pitiful and immature of CNN to pull this on us, and even more so to blame the convention speakers for their own lackluster coverage.

    Kennedy and Michelle Obama were indeed excellent, but so was Pelosi, Michelle's brother, Leach, and the others that didn't even get a minute of camera time. The convention wasn't lacking-on the contrary, it was EXACTLY what the party needs to come together and defeat McCain-it was your constant complaining that nobody was calling Bush the Great Satan or something.

    CNN, you should be ashamed of yourself.

    August 26, 2008 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  10. Byron

    Michelle Obama was awesome tonight.

    August 26, 2008 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  11. Gail Holcomb

    Dave is right. I expect smart-alec cracks from Carville, but Gergen really disappointed me. To have people sit around belly-aching about how boring the show was, that as TV it was a flop, simply cannot be defended. I switched to CSPAN, too, and then surfed the networks for intelligent coverage. CNN failed miserably tonight.

    Hilary Rosen, Donna Brazile, and Gloria Borger were worth listening to. So, in fact, were the Republican commentators. CNN's guys were disgraceful. Don't pay them and put a written warning in their files. This changes or they're fired. I'm serious.

    August 26, 2008 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  12. Moz

    Yes, Democrats should be proud of Michelle Obama. She really gave a sense to the first gathering night. God bless America!

    August 26, 2008 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  13. Angel

    Grateful!!! I was bored to tears!!!!!!!!

    August 26, 2008 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  14. kim

    Indeed Michelle Obama's speech was moving,inspiring and from the heart. It,and Ted Kennedy's speech were the highlight of the evening.
    It is clear that the Obama's are a lovely,warm and caring family.

    August 26, 2008 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  15. Female

    Sorry I meant could not have been better. It was perfect, my eyes watered during both Michelle and Kennedy's speech.

    August 26, 2008 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  16. pilar brache

    Dear Mr. Gergen,
    I heartily agree with you about Michelle Obama's performance tonight. She was lovely. However, I have noticed lately (I watch you everyday), that for every positive thing you say about Obama, you make 3 or 4 gloomy remarks about his low chances of winning in November. You wear a nervous expression on your face and depress the nation. Why are you doing this? I'm not sure you pundits realize how much your comments– your endless analyses of sometimes just dumb things the other campaign does or says, affects the mood of the electorate. The American people are not savvy about the issues they will be voting on in November. You must know that. So, please don't add to their ignorance by getting drawn into that newsy gossip that distracts them from getting the facts. Should Americans tune you all out?
    Still listening,
    Pilar Brache
    New York, NY

    August 26, 2008 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  17. Josh

    Is this political analysis, or a sales job? When the high wears off, I suggest Mr. Gergen reread his post above.

    August 26, 2008 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  18. Kathy

    I agree! CNN was not listening–there was "red meat."

    August 26, 2008 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  19. Melissa

    Michelle Obama doesn't "represent a new future," she represents the present, the here and now! How does Michelle Obama represent a "departure from the traditional order of things"? What "traditional order" are you talking about? The Obamas represent the traditional, American Dream.

    August 26, 2008 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  20. sally

    Stopp the whinning david G i am a big fun of yours but cnn failed to cover speakers like Nancy P and senator frm mosori insted of just focusing mostly on the pannel it was quite boring just listing to the panell i think msnbc did a beeter covrage tonte Fox is a useless tv bnew station with thier un fair jounalism and bitter republican who are paid to say all hateful thing cnn how disappointing Gloroa your negative comments on Obama is getiing old how many times do you like the obamas to define himseldf and for obama to define himself please get real..................

    August 26, 2008 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  21. go away mongers- Ventura ca

    Michelle Obama was magnificent! The speech was just what America needed to see. The fear/smear and hate mongers would paint her as something she isn't.
    This woman knows America.
    This woman loves America.
    This woman IS AMERICA's story right before your eyes.

    All you rovian-types might as well stay under your rocks-NOT THIS TIME!

    August 26, 2008 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  22. CitizenS

    Dave...applause to you. Michelle O....a resounding applause to you! There were many, many people shown in the crowd during her speech that were moved to tears. Just seeing how she is imploring the American people to see that Barack is a normal person with the same red blood running through him as you and I. He just happens to have darker color on his skin. Should Americans sit back while the world watches and waits to see if we fall in this test of the world power that we are because of our own inadequacies to transcend the color of mere skin and not look to the bigger picture? No, we need to RISE UP and show the world we are a MIGHTY power indeed and will be reckoned with for our tenacity in holding a mighty nation together! OBAMA/BIDEN 08

    August 26, 2008 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  23. Texas Independent

    CNN has been missing the mark for a while now. They need to give Jack a starring role in this coverage. We need some frank and honest coverage in this thing.

    August 26, 2008 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  24. Laina

    Dave- That's why I watch C-SPAN. They showed the entire thing without interruptions. I was able to make my own opinions about the night before the media (CNN/FOX News) tried to force-feed me my opinions.

    August 26, 2008 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  25. Latangy

    Michelle, you did so good!.
    I was really proud of her. I am 43 yrs old and I know that Obama will win!
    It's time for a change, McCain when you were on the Rick Warren Forum with Obama and when he (RICK WARREN) ask you about does evil exist ,you started talking about following Bin Laidn to the gates of hell, Thats where you want to take America, By you saying that how can anyone still vote for you no one is going to lose there soul for you nor Bin Laidn do you really think people are going to the gates of hell for man? McCain you cant have my Grandkids I wont let you, All you (McCain) talks about is war,war war, People this man(McCain) will restore the draft,so to all the moms and dads if you love your kids dont let JOHN McCAIN HAVE THEM!!!! He will lead them straight to the gates of hell, So you know this war will never end with John McCain in office. He said my friends no matter how long it takes I will catch Bin laidn even if I, (which he means you) follower him to the gates of Hell. Thoses are his words. And Mr McCain God let Evil he's the only one can get rid of not you, And evil is just not only war but many of things. Vote Barack Obama
    Michelle you and TEDDY were great
    OBAMA 08

    August 26, 2008 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
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