Pundits on the left and right are abuzz about First Lady Michelle Obama’s speech last night. Her captivating rhetoric and teary-eyed appeal for her husband’s re-election helped to shape the role of the First Lady’s speech for future conventions to come.
Generally, that role is to humanize the candidate by talking about how they are with their family, in order to establish a sense of their character and build trust. Instead, Michelle Obama used her position as First Lady to create a narrative about the kind of country that her family wants to build for future generations.
As First Lady, her role in the White House is seen as apolitical, and that is specifically why she was able to give a rousing speech without much judgment from the media. It’ll be interesting to see if her speech translates into any rise in the polls in the next few days, or if it will simply be regarded as a good speech given by a talented orator at a convention that (perhaps) only the Democratic base is watching.