Michelle Obama's DNC speech a lost opportunity

Last night, the most high-profile speech given at the Democratic National Convention probably did the least to secure votes for President Barack Obama.

Last night, the most high-profile speech given at the Democratic National Convention probably did the least to secure votes for President Barack Obama.

Michelle Obama's speech has by far received the most press coverage following the first day of the convention. Filled with platitudes of inequality is wrong, military families have sacrificed a lot, and work hard and you can achieve your dreams, her assertions would likely get no argument from even the most hard-nosed Republican — well, maybe the equality one.

I know that convention speeches by politicians' spouses tend to be light on content, but with Mrs. Obama having better approvability ratings than her husband (66% compared with less than 50%), wouldn't it have been great if she highlighted specific policy differences between the two candidates? She did not even mention Mitt Romney by name.

It wasn't all shallow; I do think she gave a powerful image about just how dire the Obamas' financial picture was at one point. As a result, Obama might truly be able to understand the plight of some in the middle class better than others.

"Believe it or not, when we were first married, our combined monthly student loan bills were actually higher than our mortgage," she told the convention. "We were so young, so in love, and so in debt."

I'm not the only one who noticed her light speech. A Washington Post columnist equated it with “junk food.”

“You couldn't find anything to critique, if you sat down intending to shout angrily at the TV, the best you could do was point out timidly that you stood at the altar ‘with whom you love,' not ‘with who you love.' And that seemed petty,” Post columnist Alexandra Petri wrote.

It is unlikely that Mrs. Obama's speech attracted new followers. I have not done a poll, but Wednesday's news coverage wasn't filled with fact-check results or any hard-hitting responses, but with commentary on her dress and nail color choices.

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