World

Michelle Obama gives impassioned endorsement of Hillary Clinton

Without mentioning Donald Trump by name, first lady Michelle Obama stood before the Democratic convention on Monday and drew a sharp sketch of the Republican nominee that stood in harsh contrast to her gauzy portrait of Hillary Clinton as a woman who has looked out for children and the disadvantaged all her life.

First lady criticizes Donald Trump's campaign tactics without saying his name once

President's wife gives an impassioned speech to support Hillary Clinton 15:52

Without mentioning Donald Trump by name, first lady Michelle Obama stood before the Democratic convention on Monday and drew a sharp sketch of the Republican nominee that stood in harsh contrast to her gauzy portrait of Hillary Clinton as a woman who has looked out for children and the disadvantaged all her life.

Delivering a mother's impassioned call to action, Obama offered Clinton to the nation as a woman with a heart and as a future president who never "buckles under pressure" or takes the easy way out.

Obama told delegates and a national television audience that when she thinks of "the kind of president that I want for my girls and all children," it's someone who takes the job seriously — "someone who understands that the issues a president faces are not black and white and cannot be boiled down to 140 characters."

There was no mistaking the allusion to Trump, a perpetual tweeter.

"Because when you have the nuclear codes at your fingertips and the military in your command, you can't make snap decisions," Obama continued. "You can't have a thin skin or a tendency to lash out. You need to be steady and measured and well-informed."

First Lady says president must have a 'steady hand,' can't make 'snap decisions' 1:05

"When they go low, we go high," she said in reference to Trump's campaign tactics. 

Obama also had a sharp rejoinder to Trump's "make America great again" motto: "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."

Framing the nation's choice from a mother's perspective, Obama said the election "is about who will have the power to shape our children for the next four or eight years of their lives. And I am here today because in this election, there is only one person who I trust with that responsibility, only one person who is truly qualified to be president of the United States and that is our friend, Hillary Clinton."

First Lady says 1st woman president would inspire girls everywhere 2:06

Recalling all the moments when Clinton was picked apart for "how she looked or how she talked or even how she laughed," Obama added that what she admired most about Clinton was that "she never buckles under pressure. She never takes the easy way out. And Hillary Clinton has never quit on anything in her life."

It was a nostalgic moment for Obama, as she praised the woman whom Democrats hope will succeed her husband and a woman with whom she has shared the title of first lady. Obama began with recollections of the past eight years, as her daughters grew from "bubbly little girls into poised young women."

She recalled some of the barbs her girls had to endure along the way — including questions about their father's citizenship and his faith. It went unspoken that Trump himself was a driving force behind the questions about her husband's birthright.

Obama had barely finished her 14-minute speech when her husband, President Barack Obama, tweeted his review: "Incredible speech by an incredible woman."

Crowd favourite

Obama's speech seemed to resonate with the crowd, with many people talking about it as they left the arena.

"I think she's an incredible woman. She's brilliant, she's confident, she spoke from the heart, Adriana Gonzalez from Florida said. "It didn't sound calculating, it didn't sound like a politician."

Others thought Obama's speech could help return some peace to the party.

"It was inspiring and invigorating. She brought it back home and tried to unite us as a party." Janet Goodman Vanks from Lincoln, Neb., said.

Martina Jackson, a delegate from Massachusetts, described the speech as simply wonderful. 

"I thought it was so well delivered. She really got to the heart of it, relating it from the perspective from herself as a mother, and then talking about the needs of other children, other mothers, and what we all need to do as a society for children. I think she brought a passion to it that was really so important. She kept relating it to being both first lady and a parent and I thought that was so telling and so compelling at the same time," Jackson said.

First Lady Michelle Obama told the Democratic National Convention that there's 'only one person who is truly qualified to be president of the United States and that is our friend, Hillary Clinton.' (Matt Rourke/Associated Press)

With files from CBC News' Meagan Fitzpatrick