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First Lady Commands DNC

When military mom Elaine Brye introduced Michelle Obama on day one of the DNC, it was clear that the mom vote set the precedent for winning the election.

Brye announced, “Wow! What’s a mom like me doing in a place like this? I’m not even a political person. But what I am is a military mom. My husband and I are so proud of our five kids. One each in the Army, the Navy, the Air Force and the Marines. Our youngest is still in high school, and yes — we’re hoping he’ll join the Coast Guard. They are a mom’s most precious treasures.”

She went on to talk about how she sent the Obamas a Christmas card, thanking them for their support of military families, and before Brye knew it, she and her husband were invited to the White House.

“It was an amazing experience (being at the White House). If someone is there for my family and families like mine, then I’ll be there for them. That’s why I’m proud to introduce my fellow mom and our first lady, Michelle Obama.”

So on that note, the president’s better half took center stage at the Time Warner Cable Arena, in Charlotte, N.C. The music of Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” fired up the crowd as they lifted their one-word slogan signs “Forward” in the air.

Obviously, her prime-time speech was much anticipated, and so was her outfit. Michelle Obama looked stunning in a custom-made dress by the young African American designer Tracy Reese paired with J. Crew pumps. And those notoriously toned arms commanded R-E-S-P-E-C-T.


By the time Beyonce’s  “Get Me Bodied” blared, this famous vegetable gardner and crusader against childhood obesity had delivered a prime-time speech that hit on all the hot topics, such as benefits for military families, education, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, health care, and same-sex marriage. Of course, she talked about the love of her life, you know, the guy who used to pick her up for dates in a rusty old car. Never once did she bring up the name Romney. And, as the Republicans ridiculed, never once did she mention God. I didn’t know God was on the ballot.

So, I took notes on Obama’s quotes that resonated with me the most, such as:

“Barack knows the American dream because he’s lived it, and he wants everyone in this country, everyone to have that same opportunity, no matter who we are, or where we’re from, or what we look like, or who we love.”

“And he believes that when you’ve worked hard, and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you. You reach back and you give other folks the same chances that helped you succeed.”

“I love that for Barack, there is no such thing as ‘us’ and ‘them’ — he doesn’t care whether you’re a Democrat, a Republican, or none of the above. He knows that we all love our country, and he is always ready to listen to good ideas. He’s always looking for the very best in everyone he meets.”

“And I didn’t think it was possible, but today, I love my husband even more than I did four years ago — even more than I did 23 years ago, when we first met.”

“You see, even though back then Barack was a senator and a presidential candidate, to me, he was still the guy whose proudest possession was a coffee table he’d found in a dumpster, and whose only pair of decent shoes was half a size too small.”

“Women are more than capable of making our own choices about our bodies and our health care. That’s what my husband stands for.”

“In the end, for Barack, these issues aren’t political. They’re personal.”

“I have seen firsthand that being president doesn’t change who you are — no, it reveals who you are.”

“And he reminds me, he reminds me that we are playing a long game here, and that change is hard, and change is slow, and it never happens all at once. But eventually we get there, we always do.”

“He’s the same man who, when our girls were first born, would anxiously check their cribs every few minutes to ensure they were still breathing, proudly showing them off to everyone we knew. You see, that’s the man who sits down with me and our girls for dinner nearly every night, patiently answering questions about issues in the news, strategizing about middle school friendships.”

“Our life before moving to Washington was filled with simple joys. Saturdays at soccer games, Sundays at grandma’s house and a date night for Barack and me was either dinner or a movie, because as an exhausted mom, I couldn’t stay awake for both.”

“And the truth is, I loved the life we had built for our girls and I deeply loved the man I had built that life with and I didn’t want that to change if he became president.”

“At the end of the day, my most important title is still ‘mom in chief.’ My daughters are still the heart of my heart and the center of my world.”

So after dinner and homework tonight, my family will plop down on the couch with a big bowl of popcorn. We’ll watch day two of the DNC as history unfolds. I’ll take notes on my laptop, and I’ll tweet my favorite quotes. And when my teenagers ask me about former president Clinton’s philandering and what it has to do with him courting the female voters, I’ll say, “pass the popcorn, please.”

Yes, I’m proud of be an American.