Around the time their daughters were small, there was also an idea that Michelle Obama might be divisive—the angry black woman out of place in the White House. That has been thoroughly dispelled. Michelle Obama’s first term was undoubtedly a success.
“We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions,” Obama said, in what may have been the speech’s most direct retort to Mitt Romney. He said that our wealth didn’t make us rich, though we are wealthy: “What makes America exceptional are the bonds that hold together the most diverse nation on Earth…. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or where you love. It doesn’t matter whether you’re black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or poor, abled, disabled, gay or straight.” Sasha and Malia are part of a generation for whom respect for gay marriage is not an act of rebellion,
Around the time that Obama spoke, Tammy Baldwin, of Wisconsin, defeated Tommy Thompson to become America’s first openly gay senator; and a woman in Hawaii named Tulsi Gabbard, a combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, became the first Hindu to be elected to Congress. These results speak to the problem of “demographics”—a word that, on Wednesday morning, was repeated so often by distraught Republicans as to form a single unbroken whine. But what does it mean, beyond the observation that in America there are people who are black, Hispanic, gay or lesbian, or are women—not exactly an obscure minority—or who are simply young? That is not a dilemma; that is a matter of children getting older. And they do.