Morning Joe: Michelle Obama Address in ‘Pantheon’ of ‘Great Speeches’

If you watched Morning Joe on Tuesday, you would think Michelle Obama was the only person who spoke on the first night of the Democratic National Convention. Co-host Mika Brzezinski called the First Lady’s remarks “chilling” while Willie Geist hailed it as “the greatest in the history of conventions.” Co-host Joe Scarborough went so far as to say “her optimism and her hope reminded me of Ronald Reagan.”

Panelist after panelist took turns gushing over Michelle Obama.

MARK HALPERIN: One of the best speeches I've seen at a convention, and it fused the personal with a political for a purpose. She talked about her own life to try to make the point she wanted to make that Hillary Clinton should be the next president. And you know some of the other speeches were solid. But Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren came after her, and she was a very tough act to follow. 

WILLIE GEIST: I think history will remember First Lady's speech as one of the greatest in history of conventions, it’s in the pantheon now of the great speeches. 

It didn’t stop there, as Mike Barnicle had to put Michelle in the category of Democratic “greats” such as Ted Kennedy and Bill Clinton.

MIKE BARNICLE: Well you hit on what I think is the key of the greatness of her speech, how the speech will resonate. I've seen a lot of great speeches at conventions, Mario Cuomo in 84, Ted Kennedy in 1980, Barack Obama in 2004. Bill Clinton in 2012. I have never seen a speech, given the presentation from a nonpolitician really, the first lady. 

BRZEZINSKI: From the heart. 

BARNICLE: The presentation, but the content of the speech from the beginning about watching her children go off to school. 

BRZEZINSKI: Chilling. 

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The most chilling remarks came from Brzezinski, who attacked the “whitewash” speeches given at the Republican National Convention just last week.

Michelle Obama talking about living in a home that slaves built and watching her children, parallel that story and that sense of wonder to how great this country is and what hurdles we can overcome to, well, Donald Trump spent five minutes with me on the phone. I mean these stories at the Republican National Convention were a joke. They weren't real. They weren't personal. They didn't have a sense of history or connection with this country. They were like this sort of whitewash. And I know they were trying to personalize Donald Trump but then listen to Michelle Obama's speech and tell me what feels personal.

Shallow Brzezinski must have been brainwashed by Michelle Obama last night, because one of the most moving speeches at the RNC in Cleveland was delivered by Patricia Smith, the mother of Sean Smith, who was killed in the 2012 Benghazi attacks. That speech wasn’t real? That speech wasn’t personal?  

What may have been even more chilling than Brzezinski’s ignorance was co-host Joe Scarborough’s leap in likening Michelle Obama’s speech to Ronald Reagan.

I don't know that Michelle Obama would appreciate that, that what I'm about to say, but her optimism and her hope reminded me of Ronald Reagan who could talk about all of the problems that we were having and then look right at the audience, but always end by saying, I believe that America's greatest days truly do lie ahead. Despite all the problems that we are facing as a country, despite all of the problems that we have in our economy, despite all of the challenges across the globe, we are Americans. Look where we have been. Look where we are. Look where we are going. Michelle Obama, again, like Barack Obama in 2004, like Ronald Reagan in 1984, like Ronald Reagan in 1980, she spoke the truth. 

If Michelle Obama sparked this type of reaction on day one of the convention, we can only imagine what is in store for liberals on MSNBC when Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton take the stage later this week. 

View Full Transcripts Here:

07-26-16 MSNBC Morning Joe
6:13:18 AM – 06:17:48 AM

MARK HALPERIN: I spent a lot of time with Sanders delegates last night. As Willie said, these are the hard core supporters. Not a surprise that they would be the most reluctant to change their posture and be for her. I think the roll call is going to help a lot. A lot of them said we were booing yesterday because the whole program was geared towards the notion Hillary Clinton was our nominee. She's not our nominee yet. But I think after the roll call—

HAROLD FORD JR: She actually is, but—  

HALPERIN: Well, but she's not been nominated formally. But I think a lot of them just want the formality of saying, let's cast our vote for Bernie Sanders, if Hillary Clinton is the nominee after tonight, I think a lot of people even in that room will fall in line.

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Yeah Willie, what do you think? By the end of the night, do we have the Bernie Sanders speech or do we really have the first lady's speech to point to say this was the moment that the Democratic party came together as one to fight again Donald Trump. 

WILLIE GEIST: I think history will remember first lady's speech as one of the greatest in history of conventions, it’s in the pantheon now of the great speeches. But Bernie Sanders was important for that room. For the room. I think if you look at the arc of the day, you had chaos early in the day, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Bernie Sanders both being booed. The room, the prayer was booed. Sarah Silverman's moment started to turn it. 

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Turned the page.

GEIST: And when the first lady walked in, the room got quiet. 

SCARBOROUGH: No doubt, no doubt about it.

GEIST: Let’s to a little bit of the first lady’s speech last night.

[Show clip from Michelle Obama’s Speech]

BRZEZINSKI: Well, there you go. [Applause in Tavern] 

SCARBOROUGH: Yeah baby! You don't have to make America great again, America is great. And that is something that when Michelle Obama says that, she connects not just with Democrats, and not just with liberals, but with a lot of Republicans and a lot of Independents that have been saying that for a very long time. America is great. And that speech, by the way, such a moving speech. This network, just a programming note, so inspiring that this network MSNBC is going to be playing parts of that speech again four years from now at the next Republican convention. 

BRZEZINSKI: Yes.

SCARBOROUGH: But anyway. I was very moved by it.

...06:20:19 AM – 06:22:52 AM

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Michelle Obama talking about living in a home that slaves built and watching her children, parallel that story and that sense of wonder to how great this country is and what hurdles we can overcome to, well, Donald Trump spent five minutes with me on the phone. I mean these stories at the Republican National Convention were a joke. They weren't real. They weren't personal. They didn't have a sense of history or connection with this country. They were like this sort of whitewash. And I know they were trying to personalize Donald Trump but then listen to Michelle Obama's speech and tell me what feels personal. 

MIKE BARNICLE: Well you hit on what I think is the key of the greatness of her speech, how the speech will resonate. I've seen a lot of great speeches at conventions, Mario Cuomo in 84, Ted Kennedy in 1980, Barack Obama in 2004. Bill Clinton in 2012. I have never seen a speech, given the presentation from a nonpolitician really, the first lady. 

BRZEZINSKI: From the heart. 

BARNICLE: The presentation, but the content of the speech from the beginning about watching her children go off to school. 

BRZEZINSKI: Chilling. 

BARNICLE: The speech was about our children. The speech was about us more than it was about politics. 

JOE SCARBOROUGH: It really was. I then draw my attention to Republicans right now who see me with clinched fists up in the air cheering Michelle Obama's speech to say, I don't know that Michelle Obama would appreciate that, that what I'm about to say, but her optimism and her hope reminded me of Ronald Reagan who could talk about all of the problems that we were having and then look right at the audience, but always end by saying, I believe that America's greatest days truly do lie ahead. Despite all the problems that we are facing as a country, despite all of the problems that we have in our economy, despite all of the challenges across the globe, we are Americans. Look where we have been. Look where we are. Look where we are going. Michelle Obama, again, like Barack Obama in 2004, like Ronald Reagan in 1984, like Ronald Reagan in 1980, she spoke the truth. We are the last best hope for a dying world. And if you can't get behind that message as a Republican or a Democrat, then let me buy you a ticket to another country. Because we are the greatest country on the face of the Earth.

Tell the Truth 2016 NBDaily Convention Watch Campaign Watch Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential 2016 Democratic Convention MSNBC Morning Joe Video Government & Press Mika Brzezinski Joe Scarborough Willie Geist Mark Halperin Mike Barnicle Michelle Obama
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