The Democratic National Convention is taking place in Philadelphia this week, and Michelle Obama has been scheduled to speak on Monday night despite the fact that she has never held an elected position of any kind.
According to The Washington Post, the Democrats are having Michelle speak in the hopes that she will serve as a crucial validator for Hillary Clinton among groups who may remain skeptical of the party’s nominee.
“I’m glad that she was selected to speak on the first night, the opening night of an historic convention,” said Donna Brazile, a longtime Democratic strategist. “The country trusts her. People know she’s authentic and will be honest, and [they] want to know what she thinks.”
A source that has seen Michelle’s speech revealed she will focus on the role a president plays in the lives of the nation’s children, shaping their values and aspirations. She will also tell Democrats that Clinton has the “character, temperament and experience” to be president, and how Clinton’s career reflects ideals such as “opportunity, equality, inclusion.” Her endorsement of Clinton is meant to be particularly meaningful since the two are known to have not gotten along in the past.
“She is there, in part, to be a coda and also to be a bridge,” said Andra Gillespie, a political scientist at Emory University who studies political mobilization. “She’s there to wrap up the Obama administration and provide a transition to what a Clinton presidency could be.”
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