It's not easy to get up in front of the country and singularly remind everyone of exactly why being an American is something to be proud of. But once again, First Lady Michelle Obama appealed to America's sense of class, grade, and decency, and reminded the country that it's better than the hateful, racist, divisive politics of Donald Trump. And she did it all without ever speaking his name. Here are some of the best quotes from Michelle Obama's DNC speech, because the speech offered such a beautiful description of America.
The speech was written by Sarah Hurwitz, who has written or edited every word the First Lady has spoken for the past seven years, according to the Washington Post. Her gig before joining Team Obama? She was previously the head speechwriter for Hillary Clinton through the 2008 campaign, including the famous "18 million cracks" speech she delivered conceding the primary race to then-Senator Barack Obama. Hurwitz got a call soon after that asking her to join the Obama operation.
Here are a few particularly gorgeous lines from Obama's Monday night speech at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1. "Hillary Clinton never quit on anything..."
And look, there were plenty of moments when Hillary could have decided that this work was too hard, that the price of public service was too high, that she was tired of being picked apart for how she looks or how she talks or even how she laughs. But here’s the thing. What I admire most about Hillary is that she never buckles under pressure. She never takes the easy way out. And Hillary Clinton has never quit on anything in her life.
2. "...That highest, hardest glass ceiling..."
Hillary Clinton...has the guts and the grace to keep coming back and putting those cracks in that highest, hardest glass ceiling until she finally breaks through and lifts us all along with her.
3. "Our words and actions matter..."
Barack and I take that same approach to our jobs as president and first lady because we know that our words and actions matter, not just to our girls, but the children across this country, kids who tell us I saw you on TV, I wrote a report on you for school. 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?
4. "When they go low..."
That is what Barack and I think about every day as we try to guide and protect our girls through the challenges of this unusual life in the spotlight, how we urge them to ignore those who question their father’s citizenship or faith. How we insist that the hateful language they hear from public figures on TV does not represent the true spirit of this country. How we explain that when someone is cruel or acts like a bully, you don’t stoop to their level. No, our motto is, when they go low, we go high.
5. "I wake up every morning in a house built by slaves..."
That is the story of this country, the story that has brought me to this stage tonight, the story of generations of people who felt the lash of bondage, the shame of servitude, the sting of segregation, but who kept on striving and hoping and doing what needed to be done so that today I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves. And I watch my daughters, two beautiful, intelligent, black young women playing with their dogs on the White House lawn.
6. "Don't let anyone tell you this country isn't great..."
And 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. So, look, so don’t let anyone ever tell you that this country isn’t great, that somehow we need to make it great again. Because this right now is the greatest country on earth! And as my daughters prepare to set out into the world, I want a leader who is worthy of that truth, a leader who is worthy of my girls’ promise and all our kids’ promise, a leader who will be guided every day by the love and hope and impossibly big dreams that we all have for our children.
Here's more on the speech.