Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Michelle Obama's DNC Speech: Legacy, Glass Ceilings, and Clinton's Impact

Last night, Michelle Obama made her last DNC speech as First Lady one to remember. Her rousing speech touched on the central issues of the campaign: hateful rhetoric, a divided Democratic party, partisan gridlock. But Mrs. Obama emphasized a fact that has somehow stayed in the background thus far: that Hillary Clinton in the first woman to become a major party nominee.

As she did eight years ago when her husband received the party nomination, Mrs. Obama’s speech centered around the future, specifically the nation’s children. She highlighted the myriad ways media and politics can affect to worldviews of children. “This election -- every election -- is about who will have the power to shape our children for the next four or eight years of our lives.” She emphasized the importance of her husband’s role as the country’s first black president, saying “Barack and I…know that our words and actions matter, not just to our girls, but the children across this country…Kids like the little black boy who looked up at my husband, his eyes wide with hope and he wondered, is my hair like yours?”

She compared that significance to Clinton’s historical nomination, saying “Hillary Clinton [has] the guts and the grace to keep coming back and putting those cracks in that highest and hardest glass ceiling until she finally breaks through, lifting all of us along with her…Because of Hillary Clinton, my daughters and all our sons and daughters now take for granted that a woman can be president of the United States.”

Indeed, Hillary Clinton’s nomination and potential presidency will influence millions of young people worldwide. Not only is she role model to girls who dream of being politicians, she is a role model to people everywhere who believe in gender equality. Children will grow up learning that yes, indeed, women can be president. They can and they will.

-- Sarah, MWPC Intern