Michelle Obama spoke today in the White House on the occasion of the unveiling of the unveiling of her and the husband’s official portraits…
…she spoke of her joy in returning to the house she raised her children in, and the unlikeliness of that ever happening seemed to her at one time, she teased her husband, as he had teased her just before, she thanked the Biden’s for hosting the event, she laughed and smiled; but, for one moment she got deadly serious and spoke to an audience of one – to a malevolent presence that had darkened the harrowing time between White House past and present:
“Even if it’s all still a bit awkward for me, I do recognize why moments like these are important, why all of this is absolutely necessary,” she said. “Traditions like this matter, not just for those of us who hold these positions, but for everyone participating in and watching our democracy.
You see, the people, they make their voices heard with their vote. We hold an inauguration to ensure a peaceful transition of power. Those of us lucky enough to serve, work, as Barack said, as hard as we can for as long as we can, as long as the people choose to keep us here. And once our time us up, we move on; and all that remains in this hallowed place is our good efforts and these portraits, portraits that connect our history to the present day, portraits that hang here as history continues to be made.”
That bit of business out of the way she continued:
”So for me, this day is not just about what has happened. It’s also about what could happen. Because a girl like me, she was never supposed to be up there next to Jacqueline Kennedy and Dolly Madison. She was never supposed to live in this house, and she definitely wasn’t supposed to serve as first lady.
But I’ve always wondered where does that ‘supposed to’ come from? Who determines it? And too often in this country, people feel like they have to look a certain way or act a certain way to fit in, that they have to make a lot of money or come from a certain group or class or faith in order to matter. But what we’re looking at today, a portrait of a biracial kid with an unusual name and the daughter of a water pump operator and a stay-at-home mom, what we are seeing is a reminder that there is a place for everyone in this country.
That is what this country is about. It’s not about blood or pedigree or wealth. It’s a place where everyone should have a fair shot.”
In short, she reminded of what the Obama’s time in the White House meant to all of us that supported them.
And why we hated the ugliness that came after.
It was a remarkable bit of oratory:
And, oh yeah, this guy had some words to say also:
(Excuse the origin and the ads)
Thank you, Michelle and Barack for reminding us of what can be good about this troubled country and lending us a bit of courage with which to confront the dark times ahead.