Fox News declined to air the first hour of the Democratic National Convention in its entirety Monday night, opting instead for Sean Hannity interviewing Donald Trump Jr. The network’s commentators talked over much of the second hour. But when it came to former first lady Michelle Obama’s address, they couldn’t come up with a single criticism.
“It’s very difficult to try to connect with an audience without an actual audience there with you, but she has the ability to connect with people through the screen,” began Dana Perino, former press secretary for George W. Bush. “When you talk about authenticity, she has it in spades. She has that voice, she has clarity, and she knows what she is out there wanting to do. She was trying to get everybody to really focus and then she had a call to action: Ask for your ballot tonight. I think that the DNC, if they look over the course of the night, the first virtual convention of our history, they would say that Michelle Obama stuck the landing.”
“I agree with Dana,” Chris Wallace said next. “Michelle Obama, as she said, doesn’t like politics and she said that this speech was her main contribution to the Biden campaign. It was a heck of a contribution. She really flayed, sliced and diced Donald Trump, talking about the chaos and confusion and lack of empathy, especially coming from this president and from this White House.”
“This was a very effective speech,” he added.
According to Juan Williams, Michelle Obama “outperformed” her famous “when they go low, we go high” speech from the 2016 convention. “I heard it like a son,” he said. “I thought she spoke like a mother, like a stern mother, like a tiger mom saying to you, this is important. This is something that is important to our family. This is who we are in this family. This is our identity. We have empathy. We understand compassion.”
“I am surprised at how penetrating I felt it to be,” Williams continued. “I really thought there was a great speech.”
Anchor Bret Baier, who rarely lets his own opinions be known, gave Democrats credit for putting “their best foot forward on the first night.”
Even the deeply conservative commentator Brit Hume admitted Obama was “very good” and that her speech was “effective” though he did accuse her of including “distortions and exaggerations” in her speech, adding, “but that’s what we expect in political rhetoric.”
“So the question is not the actual truthfulness of the case that is made, but how effectively it is delivered and whether the attacks are likely to have the effect on the electorate that she hopes for,” Hume said. “I suspect in this case, probably, it did.”