The outgoing first lady reminisced about her two “bubbly little girls” Sasha and Malia as they entered the White House almost eight years ago, and how they are leaving it as “poised young women.”
But — in a thinly veiled jab at Trump — she also painted a picture of a family that along the way struggled with the shrill tone of today’s zero-sum politics.
“We urge them to ignore those who question their father’s citizenship or faith,” she said, a clear reference to Trump’s baseless claim that Barack Obama is not American.
Obama will address the convention on Wednesday.
“We insist that the hateful language they hear from public figures on TV does not represent the true spirit of this country,” the first lady said in a message that Democrats will hope resonates with fathers and mothers voting in November.
“Our motto is, ‘when they go low, we go high.’”
Michelle Obama did not always have easy relations with Team Clinton when her husband emerged victorious during the 2008 primary race.
But she pointedly lauded the former first lady for not getting angry when she lost to Barack Obama that year.
“Hillary did not pack up and go home. Because as a true public servant, Hillary knows that this is so much bigger than her own desires and disappointments,” she said.
On Tuesday it will be up to Clinton’s husband, former president Bill Clinton, to address the convention and heal ideological and emotional rifts.
– Party infighting –
The party is reeling from leaked Democratic National Committee emails which show nominally neutral party staff trying to undermine Sanders’ campaign and questioning his Jewish faith.
WikiLeaks at the weekend released nearly 20,000 emails from between January 2015 and May 2016, gleaned by hackers who apparently raided the accounts of seven DNC leaders.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation said it was investigating the “cyber intrusion,” which the Clinton campaign blamed on Russian hackers it said are bent on helping Trump.
Sanders lost to Clinton in the primary handily. But the scandal has angered his already embittered supporters, who believe the deck was stacked against them.
It has led to the resignation of party chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz and a “deep and sincere” apology from party leaders.