PHILADELPHIA -- Michelle Obama didn't once utter Donald Trump's name in her Monday night address to the Democratic National Convention. But her entire speech -- framed to ask how the next president will make its mark on America's children -- was aimed squarely at the Republican elephant in the room.
"This election, and every election, is about who will have the power to shape our children for the next four or eight years of their lives," Obama told the convention audience, which remained relatively silent and without protest while she spoke. "And I am here tonight because in this election, there is only one person who I trust with that responsibility, only one person who I believe is truly qualified to be president of the United States, and that is our friend, Hillary Clinton."
The first lady ticked off a list of Clinton's accomplishments both personal and political.
"Hillary has spent decades doing the relentless, thankless work to actually make a difference in their lives, advocating for kids with disabilities as a young lawyer, fighting for children's health care as first lady and for quality child care in the Senate," Obama said. "And when I think about the kind of president that I want for my girls and all our children, that's what I want. I want someone with the proven strength to persevere. Someone who knows this job and takes it seriously. Someone who understands that the issues a President faces are not black and white and cannot be boiled down to 140 characters."
She added to the reference to Twitter, an indirect knock at Trump's notoriously prolific social media account: "When you have the nuclear codes at your fingertips and the military in your command, you can't make snap decisions. You can't have a thin skin or a tendency to lash out. You need to be steady, and measured, and well-informed."
The latter, the first lady said, was just "the kind of president that Hillary Clinton will be."
"And that's why," Obama added, "in this election, I'm with her."
Obama's speech, though shadowed by the recent spate of violent shootings over the past month, acknowledged the sacrifices made by the numerous victims, who she said gave their lives to ensure they left "something better for our kids."
Obama held them up as examples of leadership, praising "police officers and protesters in Dallas who all desperately want to keep our children safe, people who lined up in Orlando to donate blood because it could have been their son, their daughter in that club."
"Leaders," Obama went on, "like Tim Kaine who show our kids what decency and devotion look like. Leaders like Hillary Clinton, who has the guts and the grace to keep coming back and putting those cracks in that highest and hardest glass ceiling until she finally breaks through, lifting all of us along with her."
The first lady's speech took a deeply personal turn with the mention of her own experience in the White House.
"I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves," she said, "and I watch my daughters -- two beautiful, intelligent, black young women -- playing with their dogs on the White House lawn. And because of Hillary Clinton, my daughters -- and all our sons and daughters -- now take for granted that a woman can be president of the United States."
Unlike many of those with speaking roles at either the Republican or the Democratic convention, Obama offered a positive, uplifting vision of America. While she acknowledged obstacles ahead, she celebrated how far the country has come, unlike Trump, whose slogan suggests that greatness has come and gone.
And in a last parting shot at Trump, Obama concluded with a scathing criticism of the GOP nominee's signature campaign slogan, "Make America great again."
"Don't let anyone ever tell you that this country isn't great, that somehow we need to make it great again," she said. "Because this, right now, is the greatest country on earth."