Michelle Obama’s Pitch to Disaffected Democrats

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

The passage below was only a tiny part of Michelle Obama’s speech tonight, but I think the entire rest of the address, all 3,000 words of it, had only a single purpose: to make this one tiny part resonate by the time she got to it.

I love that we can trust Barack to do what he says he’s going to do, even when it’s hard — especially when it’s hard….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.

….And if so many brave men and women could wear our country’s uniform and sacrifice their lives for our most fundamental rights, then surely we can do our part as citizens of this great democracy to exercise those rights. Surely, we can get to the polls and make our voices heard on Election Day.

That was it. That was the whole point of the speech: to convince disappointed Obama fans that her husband was worth getting off their butts and working for again. Change is hard. It happens one small step at a time. We’re playing a long game and you should be ashamed of yourself if you feel like quitting just because Barack hasn’t won every battle. Now get out there and vote.

The rest of the speech was extremely well crafted and Michelle Obama delivered it like a pro. It hit all the right notes. There were no gratuitous partisan attacks (unless her remark that “the truth matters” was a subtle barb). I’ll bet it gets high marks in the overnight polling. But as good as the rest of it was, it was, in the end, just a superstructure designed to provide emotional support for the four sentences above. If they hit home, the speech did its work. If they didn’t, it failed.

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. It's our first time asking for an outpouring of support since screams of FAKE NEWS and so much of what Trump stood for made everything we do so visceral. Like most newsrooms, we face incredibly hard budget realities, and it's unnerving needing to raise big money when traffic is down.

So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate