Hello Everyone,

I’m sure that many of you are watching the Democratic convention.  In my opinion and others, one highlight was Michelle Obama’s speech on Monday night.  It was special.

If you have been reading my commentaries for a while, you’ll remember that I frequently recommend reading important speeches in addition to listening to them.  That’s true of this one, too.

It is largely a testimony to Joe Biden’s character and a call to vote.  Here are some key excerpts:

As I’ve said before, being president doesn’t change who you are; it reveals who you are. Well, a presidential election can reveal who we are, too. And four years ago, too many people chose to believe that their votes didn’t matter…

And we’ve all been living with the consequences…

…Whenever we look to this White House for some leadership or consolation or any semblance of steadiness, what we get instead is chaos, division, and a total and utter lack of empathy.

Empathy: that’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately. The ability to walk in someone else’s shoes; the recognition that someone else’s experience has value, too. Most of us practice this without a second thought…

…See what happens when that lack of empathy is ginned up into outright disdain…

Sadly, this is the America that is on display for the next generation. A nation that’s underperforming not simply on matters of policy but on matters of character…

And I know that regardless of our race, age, religion, or politics, when we close out the noise and the fear and truly open our hearts, we know that what’s going on in this country is just not right. This is not who we want to be…

So if you take one thing from my words tonight, it is this: if you think things cannot possibly get worse, trust me, they can…

[But,] I know Joe. He is a profoundly decent man, guided by faith. He was a terrific vice president. He knows what it takes to rescue an economy [2008-9 financial crisis]…beat back a pandemic [Ebola], and lead our country [Obama’s good example]. And he listens. He will tell the truth and trust science. He will…manage a good team [of rivals]. And he will govern as someone who’s lived a life that the rest of us can recognize…

Now, Joe is not perfect. And he’d be the first to tell you that. But there is no perfect candidate, no perfect president. And his ability to learn and grow—we find in that the kind of humility and maturity that so many of us yearn for right now.

Joe Biden wants all of our kids to go to a good school, see a doctor when they’re sick, live on a healthy planet.

And if we want a chance to pursue any of these goals…we have to vote for Joe Biden in numbers that cannot be ignored…

This is who we still are: compassionate, resilient, decent people whose fortunes are bound up with one another. And it is well past time for our leaders to once again reflect our truth…

That is the truest form of empathy: not just feeling but doing; not just for ourselves or our kids, but for everyone, for all our kids…

…We have got to do everything we can to elect my friend, Joe Biden, as the next president of the United States.

The full text is attached and here’s a link to the video of it:

https://youtu.be/VZwfEWpG_wA

During PBS/NewsHour’s coverage on Tuesday, Mark Shields noted the message sent when the first person to place Joe Biden’s name in nomination preceding the rollcall vote was a young Black woman, a New York elevator operator named Jacquelyn Brittany.  She told about how respectful of her Joe Biden was when he rode in her elevator, leading Mr. Shields to remind us of the adage: “Character is how somebody acts when nobody is looking.”

Michelle Obama strongly vouched for Joe Biden’s character again on Monday night.  He is the president we need right now.

I’ll have something to say about President Obama’s speech last night next time. It was remarkable.

Please, as always, pass it along.

Chuck

Michelle Obama Convention Speech