I’ve just returned from the Pepsi Center where I took Casey’s place and heard Michelle Obama give the speech of her life! However, she was led by remarkable speeches from other impressive women, including: Maya Soetoro-Ng, Obama’s half sister, Caroline Kennedy, and Claire McCaskill. I won’t repeat what many of you probably have heard on the television, but I will give you my impressions of seeing them live. As you know if you are reading the blog, the Mississippi delegation is sitting where you see the side of each speaker.
Obama’s half sister has a pointed chin that looks very much like the pictures of Obama’s mother. Sweetly, she told of a half-brother who took her to movies and was a nice guy and how as a history teacher she looks forward to what he’ll do for education. What you didn’t see was that the Hawaii delegation, seated next to Mississippi’s delegation, went wild; Hawaii is feeling very proud of their native son and his sister.
Caroline Kennedy looked beautiful and from the side was extremely thin. What intrigued me was that as she spoke, she curled her right foot around her left leg like a small child. As she told about how Barack Obama inspired her the way others say they were inspired by her father, I thought she nevertheless looked like the little girl that we all remember from the Sixties. She explained that Obama has no greater champion than her Uncle Teddy. The Mississippi delegation seemed moved by the appearance of Ted Kennedy, especially since this might be his last; Senator Kennedy promised to be at Obama’s inauguration in January.
Claire McCaskill was phenomenal. It took her a while to warm up to her attacks on McCain, but when she spoke, she leaned forward on the podium with her hands held together and showed that she will be a fighter for Obama in the fall. From the side she was a lot heavier than Caroline Kennedy, but she had on great shoes.
The woman of the evening arrived at about 9:00. We were all given pole signs to hold up and wave that said “Michelle.” When she came to the podium, you could tell how tall she was because the podium seemed small. She talked about her father and how he never gave up fighting and smiling. She talked about Barack and her children. However, when she said that our parents “poured everything they had into us,” I felt like everyone in the audience understood her family values at last. She made it perfectly clear that she understood the American dream, that she epitomized that dream, and that no one was going to take her story and make it less than it is. Many Mississippi delegates had tears in their eyes. Even among the other great speakers of the evening, she was by far the best. Michelle Obama will be an exceptional first lady.
Other interesting tidbits from tonight: John Grisham came by the delegation, shaking hands with several delegates. We saw Walter Mondale, Bill Richardson, John Kerry, Chris Dodd. They all had very nice, thick hair.
Overall, the Mississippi delegation was high spirited and a lot of fun. Curley Clark from Pascagoula proved to be a good dancer and was seen on the big screen more than once. Good music was interspersed between speakers, and when upbeat numbers like “Celebrate Good Times, Come On!” you can believe Mississippians did just that.