The Importance of Michelle Obama’s Speech

There have been some great speeches this week at the DNC — Ted Kennedy on Monday in a heroic journey from the hospital to the convention; Hillary helping repair the breech and Montana Gov. Schweitzer delivering a throaty, red-meat and funny talk, both on Tuesday; and the dynamic trio of Kerry, Clinton (Bill), and Biden last night.

But the most important — and effective — speech this week has been Michelle Obama's. Because she filled in some important blanks about the Family Obama, not just for viewers and voters but for members of the media. It is now crystal clear to every person watching on television, or in Denver — including 15,000 members of the press — that Michelle Obama's childhood is incredibly, typically, American. Most people can relate to it. Most people can't relate to being born into a $100 million dollar fortune, like Cindy McCain.

And as people think about it, just a little, they might start to get pissed off. How dare John McCain attack the Obamas at elitists given what Michelle told us about growing up on the South Side, and what she and her brother had to overcome to be the people they are, and how she showed her awesome pride in her family, community, and country.

She and Barack represent the best traditions of America. Being born with little in terms of wealth but a lot in terms of loving families, working hard, doing both good and well, and giving back.

As American's hear more about their story, and how it is so similar to theirs, and as they hear more about John and Cindy McCain's eight homes, 10 houses, huge fortune, they might even get pissed off that John McCain ever dared to attack them as elitists and out of touch.

Because if John McCain will stoop to that, and feels completely comfortable with that level and degree of hypocrisy, what won't he do?

Late update. Gallup now reports a nice bounce for Obama, with a 48-42 lead. We shouldn't read anything into that, the election will be close and down to the wire and the polls will bounce all over the place between now and November. But… but, maybe just a glimmer of hope that taking the time to introduce Barack and Michelle this week is important, might just pay off, and that the hand-wringing Henny Penny pleas for attack-attack-attack from some Dem-leaning bloggers is silly.