By Jonah Goldberg
September 4, 2012 11:31 P.M.
There were many points where I thought what she said was simply untrue or ludicrous, but rarely dishonest. Political wives are almost always immune to the charge of dishonesty because you have to assume their love for their husband is sincere. There are exceptions, but I don’t think the Obamas qualify as one. She clearly loves her husband and agrees with his politics. She thinks he’s reasonable and flexible and wise the same way he thinks he’s reasonable and flexible and wise. I think they’re both very wrong.
There were parts that were nakedly political and utterly unpersuasive. Barack Obama is always courageous and does the hard things because they’re right? What movie has she been watching over the last four years? He’s a decent and courageous man for supporting gay marriage? Okay, fair enough. What did she think about the position he ran on and held until a few months ago when his vice president shamed him into changing it?
All of that said, I thought as a political speech it was excellent and did nearly everything she needed it to do. She was more comfortable and convincingly passionate than Anne Romney and made not only a defense of her husband the man (where Anne also excelled) but also of her husband’s policies (where Anne Romney was largely silent, if memory serves). Will it convince anyone already leaning against Obama to change their mind, I sincerely doubt it. Will it win back a few waverers? Quite possibly. Will it fire up the Democratic base? Absolutely.