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. P. Igbide

    She brought out the Democrat DNA from my bone marrow. She Aced it. A+ Michelle.

    August 26, 2008 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  2. Eve

    As usual some of the pundits just don't want to give credit where credit is due.""""It is quite obvious that John King is beginning to lose objectivity in his reporting. I have been noticing this for a few months now. We will see if he changes his tune, once it is duly noted by his producers.

    August 26, 2008 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  3. Rosha

    Thank you for your comment, I was discussing the exact points that you made. I actually had to turn the channel from CNN and watch the convention on a public access channel to see and hear what was really going on with the other speakers. I was very disappointed in CNN.

    August 26, 2008 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  4. TPaulin

    Carville and Rove said the Democrats wasted their first night. One only has to wonder why the Republican first night speeches will only draw one tenth the audience. Whose side are they on anyway?

    August 26, 2008 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  5. Steve R

    who is Gergen?

    who cares about michelle? her hubby is the one we have to worry about!!!!!!!

    August 26, 2008 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  6. dwight rawlins

    it's about time the american society learn to accept and embrace change and look to the future and not the past yet the past is what shapes that future so people accept it and embrace change

    August 26, 2008 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  7. Ross A.

    She was terrific. I was blown away. What a powerful speech that, I think, shows the GOP is going to have a tough time getting the elitism/other/celebrity thing to stick (that is, if the Obamas can keep up this message of "we are just like you").

    August 26, 2008 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  8. Goyo

    Did Obama announce via satellite that he was in St. Louis? That was some pretty clever behind-the-scenes prompting of the Obama child to get her to ask her dad the seemingly innocent, cute question, “Daddy, what city are you in?” The little girl gave Obama a chance to at least demonstrate he knew where he was! How funny would that have been if Obama would have said “St. Louis” a second time? Wow: the politicians even use the children as props.

    August 26, 2008 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  9. Sherri

    It was a beautiful speech. Having lost my own father, I know how much she misses the man who worked so hard to provide for his family. She related to ordinary Americans on every level. Her love for Barack Obama...19 years....speaks so highly of this couple. Michelle Obama is articulate and intelligent. She will make a spectacular First Lady.

    August 26, 2008 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  10. lawrie

    David Gergen and James Carville need an education on how to run a proper convention. They seem to think it is all about pleasing them. To David, if mud slinging is what you want there will be plenty of it come the end of this convention. And to James Carville, the shrill whinny old boy routine is wearing real thin. Cartoon characters are better left to Loony Toons. Not the shrill and the out of touch.

    August 26, 2008 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  11. Wisconsin

    I had to turn off CNN and go to CSPAN because CNN was doing their own agenda and not covering the convention.

    August 26, 2008 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  12. tom alessandri

    For many years, I have respected the sincerity and honesty of Mr. Gergen. But I'll admit to being surprised about his failing to speak his heart as well as his brain. He offers he is "not sure the country is ready" for caring mothers who are also "highly educated and caring..."–people who are "not the traditional order." It would seem a very sad day, indeed, when our country would not be ready for such persons when Mr. Gergen's description of them is everything this country professes to want to engender. Mr Gergen: why not add: what, in the name of all we hold dear, are we afraid of?

    August 26, 2008 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  13. randy

    Wow! What a great speech. I am excited about the potential of this woman to be our First Lady, a First Lady for the 21st Century. She is smart, articulate, educated and accomplished. What a great role model for our children.

    August 26, 2008 01:25 am at 1:25 am |
  14. Owen

    I sometimes wonder if there isn't some grand scheme by the media. I see very one-sided reporting on this presidential race. At best its designed to keep the race interesting and get viewers to watch their adverts. At worst its an attempt to miseducate the American people and guide them in the direction of their choice.

    August 26, 2008 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
  15. Luke

    True, but Pelosi is a very unpopular figure in a very popular party. The emphasis shouldn't be on her.

    August 26, 2008 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  16. Trina in New Mexico

    Michelle is genuine. Even if she hadn't "saved the night", the night wasn't a waste as some reported. I'm glad it wasn't "negative" all night. There will be enough of that later. Four or five nights of negativity is a bit much ... even for the biggest Republican haters.

    August 26, 2008 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  17. benjamin barlow

    I would have to agree the coverage of the convention may have been more appealing if it was actually COVERED.....???? I could hear the speeches in the background, honestly all the media outlets were more concerned about causing drama then true reporting. I had to switch to C-span after 2 hours to find that they were showing the whole thing. Was mad though to find that I had missed most of it. Or to know that many viewers were misled to believe it was boring and without substance. So i would have to agree with the comment above. I hope more is said about this coverage...

    August 26, 2008 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  18. maria

    CNN loves Obamas, but please give us a break. Author says that Michelle gave a great speech but "it is still too early to say whether Americans will accept this woman". Authors argument? She is too intelligent for an average American:)...and she is an African American :)).

    I am a lifelong Democrat and I will never vote Obama. Still I am 1) not a racist and 2) I do embrace intelligent women. Yet I am not a teenager to fall in love with an idol. CNN should be objective and accept that not everyone is an Obama fan. Half of America does not like Obama. Where is the problem: Obama or America? If Obama is so perfect and we are not good enough may be he should run his campaign in a different universe?

    August 26, 2008 01:32 am at 1:32 am |
  19. John Smith

    I look forward to hearing from Cindy McCain; I hope they do not hide her by giving false excuses during the Republican convention!!! If she can match what Michelle did, I'd change from an Independent to a Republican, otherwise Obama has my vote...

    August 26, 2008 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  20. JarHead

    Because, as we all know, up to this point we haven't had any first ladies who are highly educated, caring people....

    By the way, don't pull the reverse race card. It doesn't matter what her ethnic background is; all that matters is that she is American.

    August 26, 2008 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  21. Sam A.

    I have a huge Idea, lets start ridiculing those in the general population and the press who are "not ready" for Michelle and Barack Obama for "one reason or another."

    Seriously, can we finally start calling these people out like the sidehow freaks that they really are and realize that its 2008 and that it actually is no longer acceptable to any intelligent and decent American that there are people in this country who are not ready for the Obamas.

    I for one am sick and tired of the focus constantly shifting to the lesser, stupider, and fundamentally more damaged members of our country. And with all due respect Mr. Gergen, everytime you mention that there are those who might not be ready for Barack and Michelle, please do the right thing and spend about 2 minutes ridiculing, embarrasing and denegrating these halfwits, because God knows they deserve it.

    August 26, 2008 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  22. Joseph in PA

    Michelle Obama showed us tonight a woman who would make us proud as First Lady.

    August 26, 2008 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
  23. kevin

    Give me a break. Democrates are losing because they did not nominate their strongest candidates.

    August 26, 2008 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
  24. Lisa B.

    Michelle gave an excellent speech tonight. Her speech was very inspiring, very moving, and she truly spoke from her heart. She would make a terrific first lady.

    August 26, 2008 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  25. Melissa Pugh

    Shame on you CNN for not letting your audience listen to the speaker of the house who spoke well. Is it a personal thing? Did she not support Clinton enough for you ? A lot of us tuned into other stations like MSNBC so we wouldn't have to listen about Bill and Hillary all night. Tired of it. Oh yes, one last thing, James Carville and John King just can't hide thier biases can they? It would take a strong change of heart for that.

    August 26, 2008 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
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