NBC: Enthusiasm for Michelle Obama at DNC in 'Stark Contrast' to GOP Convention
On Wednesday's NBC Today, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd cheered Michelle Obama's speech at the Democratic National Convention while running down the GOP: "[She] had a hold on the delegates in this hall in a way that no speaker was able to do in Tampa. A stark contrast to the Republicans in the way they structured their convention and with the enthusiasm."
During NBC's live convention coverage Tuesday night, Todd could barely contain his excitement. At one point, he proclaimed that the First Lady "owned this convention...in a way that no speaker owned the floor of the convention in Tampa." Prior to Mrs. Obama's address, Todd applauded "the passion that you see throughout the evening" at the Democratic gathering, and claimed that Republicans "waited for the television cameras to come on" to show similar enthusiasm at their convention.
Later on the Wednesday morning show, fill-in co-host Tamron Hall lead a Today's Professionals panel segment by praising Michelle Obama as "a true strong woman" who got rave reviews "not just from Democrats, not from liberals, Republicans."
Attorney Star Jones gushed: "My favorite line was that, 'Women are more than capable of making decisions about their bodies and their health care'...For a woman to be able to make choices about her own health care in every aspect, that's one of the most important things to me."
NBC chief medical editor Nancy Snyderman chimed in: "This was a confident woman who strode onto that set podium very aware of who she was, what she needed to do. It was an electrifying speech."
Beyond the speech itself, the Today show cast was thrilled by the First Lady's fashion. Co-host Savannah Guthrie, in Charlotte covering the event, eagerly informed viewers: "...the First Lady's making headlines, not just for her speech, but of course, also for her fashion choices. She wore that Tracy Reese dress, J. Crew shoes...a blue-gray hue nail polish that is really the talk of the internet."
News anchor Natalier Morales later revisited the important topic:
While many people thought the First Lady nailed her speech last night at the Democratic National Convention, some, as you heard already, were focused on her gray-blue nails. Her manicure getting a lot of buzz online, with some calling the shade unexpected and trendy. One person said it is sure to spark a craze if we ever figure out the shade and the brand she chose.
Hall remarked that the polish looked similar to a shade "called Fair and Balanced." That prompted weatherman Al Roker to take a swipe at Fox News, which uses the same phrase as its motto: "But you can only put it on your right hand."
Here is a full transcript of Todd's September 5 Today report:
7:00AM ET TEASE:
MATT LAUER: Impassioned plea. First Lady Michelle Obama delivers a rousing speech at the Democratic National Convention. Reaching out to women, she gets emotional as she talks about her family.
MICHELLE OBAMA: My daughters are still the heart of my heart and the center of my world.
LAUER: Savannah has reaction live from charlotte.
7:01AM ET TEASE:
SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: I'm Savannah Guthrie at the Democratic National Convention here in Charlotte. Matt, I was on this floor last night when Michelle Obama spoke. At times she was fiery. At times she seemed to get choked up. In distinctly personal terms, she made the political case for why the President deserves four more years. And while she never mentioned Mitt Romney by name, and she did not go on attack, and that was by design according to advisers, the contrast she drew between her husband's background and that of his Republican challenger, was not subtle. And as for the President, he arrives in Charlotte today, after watching his wife's speech with their daughters, Sasha and Malia, at the White House. We will have more on the First Lady's speech and President's former chief of staff, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, joins us live straight ahead, Matt.
7:03AM ET SEGMENT:
GUTHRIE: We're going to begin with the First Lady's speech here at the Democratic National Convention. Chuck Todd is NBC's political director, chief White House correspondent. Chuck, good morning to you.
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Today at the Democratic National Convention; Michelle Obama Sets the Stage for the President]
CHUCK TODD: Good morning, Savannah. Well, the first night of the Democratic Convention got off to a rousing start. Culminating with Michelle Obama, the most popular figure in the Democratic Party, who had a hold on the delegates in this hall in a way that no speaker was able to do in Tampa. A stark contrast to the Republicans in the way they structured their convention and with the enthusiasm. Making the case for reelection, First Lady Michelle Obama mixed the personal and the professional in a speech designed to address her husband's biggest vulnerabilities with disillusioned Democrats.
MICHELLE OBAMA: Change is hard, and change is slow, and it never happens all at once.
TODD: With recent polls showing the President's personal likability advantage shrinking over Mitt Romney, Michelle Obama's job was to get Democrats to fall in love again.
OBAMA: When people ask me whether being in the White House has changed my husband, I can honestly say that when it comes to his character and his convictions and his heart, Barack Obama is still the same man I fell in love with all those years ago.
TODD: Her chief role Tuesday, simply playing character witness.
OBAMA: I hear the determination in his voice as he tells me, "You won't believe what these folks are going through, Michelle, it's not right." We've got to keep working to fix this. We've got so much more to do.
TODD: While she never mentioned Romney by name, a few lines about her husband seemed designed to directly contrast him with the Republican.
OBAMA: For Barack, success isn't about how much money you make, it's about the difference you make in people's lives.
TODD: The speech culminated with the First Lady showing rare public emotion.
OBAMA: My daughters are still the heart of my heart and the center of my world.
TODD: Just before the speech ended, the White House released this photo of the President and their two daughters watching her from Washington, ending a night in Charlotte that was not just about bolstering the President but also hitting Romney, and sometimes hard.
RAHM EMANUEL: Where Mitt Romney was willing to turn his back on Akron, Dayton and Toledo, Ohio, the President said, "I've got your back."
DEVAL PATRICK: Mitt Romney talks a lot about all the things he's fixed. I can tell you Massachusetts was not one of them.
TODD: And the job of appealing to Latinos fell to keynote speaker, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro.
JULIAN CASTRO: My family's story isn't special. What's special is the America that makes our story possible. And my mother fought hard for civil rights, so that instead of a mop, I could hold this microphone.
TODD: Tonight, the featured speaker is former President Clinton, but he's got an interesting opponent night. He's up against the first night, opening night of the NFL, right here on NBC. Savannah.
GUTHRIE: Alright, Chuck Todd, thank you.