Commentary Magazine


Image Make Over

The glossy film about Michelle Obama’s life and the tale of  her simple circusmtances were all meant to smooth the rough edges of the lady who said that she had never been proud of America and that she found her country “mean.”  There was not much applause into well into the speech, but the intent was to humanize her (and by extension her husband), not to rock the house. This line would have sounded better before Bittergate and the slam on Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas:

“And Barack and I were raised with so many of  the same values: that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say you’re going to do; that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don’t know them, and even if you don’t agree with them.”

By recognizing the dual anniversaries of the female suffrage as well as Martin Luther King Jr.’s great speech and then by mentioning Hillary Clinton’s “18 million cracks in the ceiling,” she clearly made an effort to reach out to those disaffected Hillary voters. And when she finally explained that she loves her country, the assembled crowd finally gave a round of sustained applause. (Yeah, a potential First lady should love America! Hurrah!)

She was a heck of a lot better than Teresa Heinz Kerry. But that’s an awfully low bar to clear.