CNN Goes Ga-Ga for Obama: Michelle's Speech 'Probably a Grand Slam'

CNN fawned over Michelle Obama's DNC speech on Tuesday, lauding it as "not hitting a home run but probably a grand slam," as Wolf Blitzer first put it.

"She did an amazing job for this President of the United States," gushed Blitzer. Anderson Cooper tweeted that "I've never heard such a well delivered speech by a First Lady ever." Piers Morgan argued that "Michelle Obama, I thought, knocked it out of the park as you Americans would say."

GOP strategist Ari Fleischer poked some fun at CNN's infatuation with Obama by cautioning "I hope you'll forgive me for not joining the swoon."

CNN's senior political analyst David Gergen actually borrowed from Democratic strategist James Carville to make his point. "And I want to echo something James said, Anderson. I think if they [the Democrats] have two more nights like this, they could possibly break this race open," he raved. When asked by Cooper if he could remember a speech by a First Lady on the plane of Obama's, Gergen said "I can't remember one."

Gergen did send praise Ann Romney's way, as he added later that "I actually think both women did their husbands a great deal of good. I agree that Michelle Obama's speech was extremely effective, but so was Ann Romney's, let's face it." 

A partial transcript of the segments, which began airing during CNN's coverage of the Democratic National Convention on September 5 at 11:05 p.m. EDT, is as follows:

WOLF BLITZER: The First Lady of the United States, not hitting a home run but probably a grand slam as far as what her mission was to do. She told a wonderful love story about her relationship with her husband, a wonderful story as a mother, as far as her relationship with her two little girls. She clearly needed to rally the base, and that's exactly what she did. (...) She did an amazing job for this President of the United States.

(...)

[11:07]

ANDERSON COOPER: David Gergen, have you heard a speech from a First Lady like that?

DAVID GERGEN, CNN senior political analyst: I can't remember one. And I want to echo something James said, Anderson. I think if they have two more nights like this, they could possibly break this race open. If they had three good nights on television like that. They came ready for prime-time. I think in Tampa some of the Republicans weren't quite ready for prime-time, too many of them were self-referential, talked about themselves. They really – they knew what they were doing here tonight, they did it very well. I thought Deval Patrick actually had the most powerful speech of the night. But overall, I think that they just – they understood – after doing your second convention, they came in there as pros. And I think they did very, very well with it. I thought her testimonial was very, very moving. But to go to James' point, it was the overall evening that I thought worked the best.

COOPER: Ari Fleischer?

ARI FLEISCHER, GOP strategist: I hope you'll forgive me for not joining the swoon.

(...)

GERGEN: In both conventions so far, the most memorable speeches have come from women. (...) I actually think both women did their husbands a great deal of good. I agree that Michelle Obama's speech was extremely effective, but so was Ann Romney's, let's face it.

(...)

[12:01]

PIERS MORGAN: Michelle Obama, I thought, knocked it out of the park as you Americans would say.

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014