It is easy to see why Michelle Obama enjoys such a high level of popularity, higher than both Mitt or Ann Romney, and even higher than her husband. At the opening night of the Democrat National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, the First Lady stole the show as the Democrats sought to position themselves as the humane counterparts to the GOP.
Michelle Obama kicks some serious ass
Michelle Obama sought to portray her husband as in touch with the American people, something that both Democrats and Republicans have criticized Romney for lacking. Romney’s style, board room mannerisms, and immense wealth from birth have left most Americans feeling like their problems are irrelevant to him. Mrs. Obama outlined the humble beginnings of young Barack, and how he still spends nights as President pouring over letters from citizens who are dealing with the same problems he faced and overcame.
But this sentimental outlining does not allay fears that Obama is the wrong candidate to steer the USA towards higher economic growth over the next four years, the primary concern of the majority of Americans who will visit the polls in November. What Michelle Obama did to help the President’s cause was talk about student loan burdens and debt management, how the new health care plan helps young people stay healthy on their parents’ insurance until the age of 26, and focusing on helping the middle class, not the super wealthy. All of these were examples of policy that made it easier for young people to enter the job market even if it took them longer, and be more flexible with the jobs they took. These were things that Obama actually did, which in themselves contrast sharply with the no-details approach that Mitt Romney implored the American people to believe in his speech last week.
What many have pointed out already bears repeating: Mrs. Obama never once mentioned Romney by name, and stayed away from the attacks levied by other Democrats such as Nevada Senator Harry Reid, who rightfully harped on Romney’s refusal to release his tax returns. She instead took the opportunity to connect with the average American that the President understands their problems and is working on sustainable solutions that will help everyone, not just the super rich.
There is an advantage to going second in the conventions, and the other speakers took to the stage to outline everything that Obama has done to make America a better place than it was four years ago. This is in direct rebuttal to VP Candidate Paul Ryan’s Reagan strategy which simply asks voters: “are you better off than you were four years ago?” Even the staunchest conservatives would have to admit that the day Bush left office was like finally taking a huge shit after weeks of constipation.
Many Republicans feel threatened by the progressive approach, and fear that the liberalization of society will lead to the end of their selectively-applied “American Morality.” They fret that an Obama that doesn’t need to face the voters again will veer to the left. But the truth is that Obama has ridden too far along the center, and has compromised his political capital to soften some of his ideas to fit more with the majority of Americans and appease the right. History shows that Presidents in their second term stay more towards the middle. Let’s hope for the sake of our country’s future that isn’t the case.