First Lady Michelle Obama addresses the Democratic National Convention.
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Democrats, Heal Thyself

The best line of the first night of the Democratic National Convention did not come from Michelle Obama, Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders, but comedian Sarah Silverman who told her fellow Sanders supporters, “you’re being ridiculous.”

That describes the healing process Democrats witnessed throughout day, from anger in the morning to unity during the prime time hour. Sanders supporters are still upset, some deeply angry, but there is a sense that Hillary Clinton is one hundred times more acceptable than Donald Trump.

Sanders did not do to Clinton what Ted Cruz did to Trump last week. He offered a firm endorsement of his former rival, and a commitment to help her win in November.

“I have known Hillary Clinton for 25 years,” said Sanders. “I remember her as a great first lady who broke precedent in terms of the role that a first lady was supposed to play as she helped lead the fight for universal health care. I served with her in the United States Senate and know her as a fierce advocate for the rights of children.”

Sanders ended his speech by saying, “Hillary Clinton will make an outstanding president and I am proud to stand with her here tonight.”

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First Lady Michelle Obama delivered one of the finest convention speeches of our time. She wrapped Clinton into a narrative about America’s children, admonishing Sanders supporters at one point, “When she did not win the nomination eight years ago, she did not get angry or disillusioned. Hillary did not pack up and go home because Hillary knows that this is so much bigger than her own disappointment.”

Obama also hit Trump hard on splitting Americans into groups instead of unifying the country.

“When crisis hits, we don’t turn against each other, we listen to each other,” said Obama. “We lean on each other. We are always stronger together. I am here tonight because I know that that is the kind of president Hillary Clinton will be and that is why in this election, I’m with her.”

Warren, a leading progressive voice, had a more difficult time controlling the crowd. Speaking before Sanders, some of his supporters shouted “we trusted you” during her speech. Still, she made a contrast between Clinton and Trump.

“We are here tonight because America faces a choice, the choice of a new president,” said Warren. “On one side is a man who inherited a fortune from his father, and kept it going by cheating people, by skipping out on debts, a man who cares only for himself. On the other side is one of the smartest, toughest, most tenacious people on this planet. I’m with Hillary.”

As for Silverman’s line, it seemed many delegates agreed by the end of the night that it would be ridiculous not to unite for the November campaign.

The Republican nominee offered plenty of commentary, as usual, on twitter:

It is safe to say that Obama, Warren and Sanders pulled the Democratic Convention from the brink of chaos. The firepower of the speakers was in sharp contrast to the first night of the Republican Convention last week.

About Jim Heath

Jim Heath is the author of the new best seller Front Row Seat at the Circus - One Journalist's Journey through Two Presidential Elections. The book is about Jim's experiences covering the 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns - from South Carolina, the first southern primary state, to Ohio, the ultimate battleground state in presidential elections. A recipient of the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Political Journalism, Jim is also a two-time Emmy award winner with more than 15 years experience as both a main evening anchor and political reporter. A longtime advocate of social media, GQ Magazine listed Jim on their Top 5 political "Power List" and the Washington Post named him to their "Best Super Tuesday Twitter List." Jim's news career has taken him from Arizona to South Carolina to Ohio.

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