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Like most folks that I know who took the time to actually watch the Republican National Convention in Cleveland (I was one of them), I similarly decided to watch this week’s Democratic National Convention taking place in Philadelphia. Full disclosure, I’m not a fan of Hillary Clinton and pretty much hate Donald Trump, but I’m not one of those people who is threatening to sit this election out. There are some greater goods to protect here and since I’m not from Bompton, I pretty much have a blue flag hanging from my backside, only on the left side, yeah that’s the…well, you know how that goes. Unlike rapper, The Game, who is from Bompton, who didn’t really like blue that much growing up. But I’d put my money on the fact that when he does vote, he’s voting blue, too.
Well, last night’s convention opened up with some heavy hitters. Cory Booker, the Senator from New Jersey, got up there and got really presidential with his speech. While he went on a bit too long for my tastes, it was a very good speech. Bernie Sanders got up there and told his supporters to vote for Hillary after what seemed like he was really considering saying, “fuck this, I want the job, I’m not quitting.” While we all know he wasn’t going to do that, it really seemed like he might since it took him a solid ten minutes to get to the point where he actively endorsed Hillary. But once he started down that road, he stayed true and doubled, and tripled down on his pledge to support her and charged his supporters to do so as well. But if you know like I know (and you don’t want to step to this), I’ll bet that very long ovation he got before opening up made him think that, maybe just for a split second, “this should be my convention.”
Sarah Silverman and Al Franken and Elizabeth Warren (I somehow missed 99 percent of her speech and I’m not sure how), etc.
But then there was the highlight and show-stealer in your first lady and my first lady, Michelle Obama.
I’ll be the first to admit that I was never as high on the Obamas as everybody else. I liked them, but I felt like everybody else liked them way more than I did and I didn’t quite understand why. I got a bit annoyed by all of the fawning over them as a couple and turning them into, what felt like, our only role models, professionally and romantically. But it was probably just having every woman I know tell me they want that Obama kind of love when none of us really knew them that bothered me. It was artificial hating on my part because the truth is, I really liked the way he looks at her and was happy to see these two folks who seemed to complement one another perfectly in the White House.
I’m a fan of the Obamas. I have a picture of Obama up in my house and I have Barack and Michelle bobbleheads that stand next to each other on my bookshelf. Truth is, they do matter, and seeing them as a unit does matter to me personally, and for our community. I’m going to miss the hell out of Obama in the White House. I wrote about that before because I live in DC, a city that seems to have been effected positively by having a Black man in the white house, and specifically one like Obama.
I’m really going to miss Michelle. I’m sure she’s going to still be available and accessible and we’ll be able to keep up through social medias and the Twitters and the Snappychats. But that woman is something special. Watching her give that speech last night nearly brought a tear to my eye because I realize that in a few short months, she and her energy and her realness and epic side-eyes will be leaving. Something about her is so regal. She’s like Cristal, and not that White Star! She not only looks the part but is the part and that’s difficult. One thing that is clear during these conventions is that some people are probably great politicians, but a significant many of them SUUUUUUUUUUUCK at giving speeches. Even Cory Booker, as good as his speech was, I felt like he just didn’t have the charm to truly deliver a speech that galvanizes everybody. Luckily the speech was good enough by itself.
Michelle on the other hand, she got up there looking great, sounding great, and making every body in the room connect with her words. Maybe that’s come with practice as being the wife of a President and being as active as she’s been, her speech game has to be on a hundred, thousand, trillion, at this point. But the ability to connect with people and make them believe in what you’re saying is a mark of greatness. And she does it with class and flair.
I won’t get into specifics about what she said – I think most of these folks mustering up their belief in Hillary is an act of true resilience – because how I felt watching one of these significant last moments on the farewell tour for Barack and Michelle was what affected me most.
I’m really going to miss them like they’re family. Maybe they are my family. Politics and policy aside, she feels like a family member who made it that you actually like and WANTED to make it. She took that role and made it hers. She never let it change her into a person she isn’t. She’s Michelle, a Black woman from Chicago all day long. She’s just managed to make those folks who don’t know better think that she left that behind. But we know. We look at her and see her and see how great she is and how great she’s been and realize that, likely, we’ll never see this ever again in our lifetimes. Maybe our kid’s kids will, but it won’t be the same.
Despite my early and misguided protestations, Michelle is exactly the role model she should be and I’m going to miss seeing her make Barack look good, and seeing her speak to kids and connect with people in a way that only she can. And I’m mostly going to miss knowing she’s in there at 1600 Pennyslvania Avenue, NW, being her best, most awesome self, flawlessly. Her presence is a gift.
Thanks, Michelle. I will miss you. And we will miss you.