One week after Ann Romney set a record for delivering a speech written at the lowest grade level in convention history by the wives of presidential nominees, Michelle Obama delivers a speech written at the highest ever grade level.Michelle Obama had, according to Very Serious Journalists, the "delicate task" of "helping her husband’s campaign reach out to women." Women already prefer President Obama to Mitt Romney, trust President Obama more than Mitt Romney, and, oh yeah, kind of really hate Mitt Romney. And everyone loves the first lady. So Michelle Obama's "delicate task" was pretty much to just be her awesome self.
A Smart Politics review of prepared remarks delivered by the spouses of presidential nominees at national political conventions finds that Michelle Obama's 2012 speech to the DNC was written at seven grade levels above Ann Romney's as measured by the Flesch-Kincaid readability test.
And oh, boy howdy, did she nail it. In fact, she gave the speech Ann Romney was supposed to give—actually, needed to give—last week:
[Mitt's] biggest problem is that regular voters don’t like him as much as Obama. That's especially true of women, and that’s why the stakes are high for Ann Romney’s speech on the crucial opening night of the convention. [...]Except that didn't happen. Ann Romney's speech was supposed to make us fall in love with her husband, just like she did. She was supposed to explain to the baffled American electorate why he's not so damned unlikable after all. Turned out, Ann couldn't really articulate what's so great about her husband either:
Who better to reassure women that Romney is on their side than his attractive, personable mate of 43 years?
I could tell you why I fell in love with him -- he was tall, laughed a lot, was nervous -- girls like that, it shows the guy's a little intimidated -- and he was nice to my parents but he was really glad when my parents weren't around.Oooh. Mitt was tall and nervous and laughed. Swoon!
Compare that to Michelle Obama's description of the man she fell in love with:
You see, even though back then Barack was a Senator and a presidential candidate…to me, he was still the guy who’d picked me up for our dates in a car that was so rusted out, I could actually see the pavement going by through a hole in the passenger side door…he was the guy whose proudest possession was a coffee table he’d found in a dumpster, and whose only pair of decent shoes was half a size too small.Now, see, that's the genuine, heartfelt—not to mention incredibly eloquent—testimony of a wife who loves her husband, who can tell us exactly why she loves her husband, and can make the rest of the country fall in love with him all over again too. It was so good that even conservatives admitted they were in awe.
But when Barack started telling me about his family – that’s when I knew I had found a kindred spirit, someone whose values and upbringing were so much like mine. [...]
And I didn’t think it was possible, but today, I love my husband even more than I did four years ago…even more than I did 23 years ago, when we first met.
I love that he’s never forgotten how he started.
I love that we can trust Barack to do what he says he’s going to do, even when it’s hard – especially when it’s hard.
I love that for Barack, there is no such thing as “us” and “them” – he doesn’t care whether you’re a Democrat, a Republican, or none of the above…he knows that we all love our country…and he’s always ready to listen to good ideas…he’s always looking for the very best in everyone he meets.
And all she had to do was be herself.