On Tuesday night, first lady Michelle Obama made me feel what Ann Romney only said she wanted me to feel: Love.
That little four-letter word peppered Romney’s speech at the Republican National Convention, but I didn’t buy it. Her husband and his vice-presidential running mate Paul Ryan have worked hard to defund women’s healthcare resources and to tell us who we can and can’t marry. In all of her pro-women grandstanding, Ann never once told me I have the right to be the master of my own body or that I deserve equal pay for equal work. She just told us a story about eating tunafish off an ironing board.
Then there was Michelle. As I left the arena after her speech more than a little misty-eyed, I caught up with a few smitten ladies in the hallway. Here’s what they had to say.
Mary Graham, a 62-year-old member of the credentials committee, clung to FLOTUS' every word.
“Every time I thought she had said something OK this is it, she would say something else that I liked even more. There’s not a whole lot of people who like to tell they had merger upbringings and she talked about it. It inspires some other kids who come up like that to do something.”
Quiana McKenzie, a delegate from Iowa, said the first lady reminded people who they voted for four years ago.
“It was her being authentic, and we don’t get that often enough,” said the 26-year-old. “When she talked about her family, when she talked about what he valued and how his values play out and what he prioritizes as he tries to fix our country, it came across very straightforward. Because of that, everybody else was completely connecting, realizing that what we want is more of what we have.”
Robbie Akhere, the president of the Black Women’s Caucus of Charlotte-Mecklenburg, said FLOTUS represented more than women.
“That speech was so enlightened, not only for women but for people all over the world,” Akhere said. “She represented in a way that will make all of us so proud. We are fired up now.”