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. Rob


    August 26, 2008 02:53 am at 2:53 am |
  2. gpmi

    Wouldn't be good if Americans deserve such a first lady!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!We would be blesed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 26, 2008 02:53 am at 2:53 am |
  3. Obama Voter.

    Michelle Obama is an honest breath of fresh air. She spoke from her heart and connected with me. I hope 18 million other voters felt the same way.

    August 26, 2008 02:56 am at 2:56 am |
  4. Chad Mahoney

    This isn't biased or anything... 😐

    August 26, 2008 02:57 am at 2:57 am |
  5. Leslie P. Douglas City, CA

    I agree with Dave. CNN was so busy talking back and forth that we missed the most important part of some of the speakers. Why don't they let the night speak for itself?? Luckily, I switched to CSPAN and caught Michelle Obama in the entirety. She was fantastic. Her speech was captivating and the audience hung on her every word. Her mother was in the audience and had the look of pride all over her face, as well she should have. There were many tears in the audience by the time Teddy and Michelle were through.
    WELL DONE!! Can't wait for the rest of the convention!

    August 26, 2008 03:00 am at 3:00 am |
  6. noemi a latina in america

    I love the Obamas!!

    August 26, 2008 03:02 am at 3:02 am |
  7. Jeff

    You're coverage is getting questionable CNN. Pick it up.

    August 26, 2008 03:03 am at 3:03 am |
  8. Renee

    Michelle Obama was great she has touch my heart The Obama's will be Great as our Leader of this Free world Go Obama's

    August 26, 2008 03:05 am at 3:05 am |
  9. Alan

    I couldn't agree more Dave! CNN was pathetic. First, by not covering half of the speeches and then repeating Carville and Gergen as they went on their rants about missed opportunities by the Democrats. CNN missed the opportunity to provide complete coverage tonight!

    August 26, 2008 03:06 am at 3:06 am |
  10. Andy in DR from CA & NY

    Michelle did what she needed to which was to show her vulnerability, authenticity, dignity, and most of all humanity. She has the humility and grace combined with intelligence, compasion and articulateness to be a superlative First Lady. I was stunned and smitten. If the general public and pundits cannot see that she's a huge boost to this ticket, it is a crying shame...

    August 26, 2008 03:06 am at 3:06 am |
  11. Sara

    We are finally having a respectful intelligent discussion about race. I never thought I would live to see this day. We are all Americans, we don’t love our country more or less because of the color of our skin; shame on the Republicans for implying we do. What a great American story.

    August 26, 2008 03:07 am at 3:07 am |
  12. Susan B.

    I cannot tell you how annoyed I became during CNNs coverage of the convention having to listen to the constant commentary while speakers were at the podium. I really wanted to hear Rep. Leach, but found myself having to listen to CNN "experts" babble over his remarks. Let's do better tomorrow night!

    August 26, 2008 03:07 am at 3:07 am |
  13. Gifty

    She has great style but little substance.

    August 26, 2008 03:10 am at 3:10 am |
  14. salim c mitha

    It is only to be expected for Mrs Obama to come to the rescue of her husband. Mr Obama needs to spend another two terms in the Senate before he can be considered for most important office in the world.
    Most of what Mrs Obama said must have been prepared by his capign and advertising people. As a supporter of Mrs Clinton I strongly object to the way he has ignored her .

    August 26, 2008 03:35 am at 3:35 am |
  15. Tim from Ohio

    Michelle is the exact reason I will NEVER vote for Obama. And, I have been a life long democrat. Now, I will vote for McCain.

    August 26, 2008 03:35 am at 3:35 am |
  16. Krista

    Today's speeches were impressive. I am more enthrawled with politics than ever. I am especially thankful to Mrs. Obama for demonstrating herself to be intellegent, well spoken, personal, beautiful, and yes, strong. Her speech will persuade disgruntled Clinton supporters that Obama was the better choice. The Obamas truely represent the American Dream. I can't wait to have this beautiful family in the White House.

    August 26, 2008 03:39 am at 3:39 am |
  17. Iowa grant

    I agree that the media was there to capture the convention yet did all they could not to show the convention in context and cut to 20 seconds of random speech, sometimes with editing that can only be called disorienting.

    I know Claire McCaskill's speech perked me up from Former republican congressman Leach's dry tone but no one showed it except public tv. Every other channel had her in the background out of audio range talking over her, and showing none of it.

    Why are the networks only showing it late, then overlaying their own dizzying lack of focus while great speakers go on behind them?

    That said, thanks to CNN for providing coverage even in primetime sitcom time I guess was hard to give up elsewhere.

    August 26, 2008 03:39 am at 3:39 am |
  18. Jim Loomis

    Yes, Michelle was marvelous. Stupendous, in fact! But I thought the speech by former Republican congressman Jim Leach was far more important. It was a devastating indictment of what the Republican Party has become. His delivery was dry, but the words were electric and should give real pause to every true Republican (as opposed to Bush-Cheney-Rove Republicans). The Grand Old Party of Abe and Teddy and Ike has been betrayed. Until rank-and-file Republicans clean house and return to their true principles, Obama's the one!

    August 26, 2008 03:40 am at 3:40 am |
  19. Angela

    Michelle delivered a great speech! She was honest and inspiring. Obama is lucky to have her by his side. As a Clinton supporter, Im glad to say that now I can truly support Obama with no reservations at all. I do not think McCain can win against him, even with the still disgruntled Clinton supporters still out there. I think Michelle will make the difference for them.

    August 26, 2008 03:41 am at 3:41 am |
  20. ladybug

    I forgot the most important thing about the democratic convention. The republicans are not nice human beings, and yet they claim to know GOD. This, is the approachment in years of Dr. Martin Luther King's I Have A Dream speech. It is more than appropriate for Obama to use the football field. This is not a CELEBRITY MOMENT, it is a moment that millions of Americans are basically holding their breaths to see. How dare any republican cheapen and demean this most crucial time in American History; a not so good one at that; one that republicans should be ashamed of. And Ben Stein, or whatever your name is, what kind of human being are you to speak of Ted Kennedy in such cruel tones. Does your hatred and bigotry run that deep. Never mind, I can answer that myself. Hurricane Katrina. Learn how to love others and stop being so hateful. It is UNAMERICAN.

    August 26, 2008 03:43 am at 3:43 am |
  21. Peter Jorgensen

    Extra ordinary– Owsome!
    I nearly cried!

    August 26, 2008 03:51 am at 3:51 am |
  22. Will

    It is about time that David Gergen was right tonight. It was getting a little sickening listening to him say that Democrats were wasting their time tonight. They didn't need to just come up to bat swinging while looking for a home run right away. There are still 3 days to get warmed up for the eventually grand slam and I hope that David Gergen gives the person who makes that grand slam the credit and not say that it was a foul ball. And about Michelle Obama's speech, it was great.

    August 26, 2008 04:07 am at 4:07 am |
  23. Chris Cabcabin

    I believe Michelle Obama will change the role of the first lady forever just like Hillary did in the 90's. She gave a very emotional and motivational speech that can possibly rival her husband. I am very proud to say I will be voting for Mr. and Mrs. Obama to head to the White House.

    August 26, 2008 04:07 am at 4:07 am |
  24. Leanord James

    As an Independent, I am still uncertain of which candidate will get my vote, but I definitely enjoyed and was touched by Michelle Obama's speech. The next few nights are nothing but politics as usual but I look forward to hearing Mr. Obama's closing speech, and, equally, Mr. McCain's.

    August 26, 2008 04:19 am at 4:19 am |
  25. Jason

    MSNBC showed Pelosi's speech and believe me, you didn't miss anything. Her speech amounted to Obama is right, McCain is wrong. Almost as bad as a MoveOn ad. As Jon Stewart rightly puts it, ", 10 years of making even people who agree with you, cringe"

    August 26, 2008 04:22 am at 4:22 am |
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