Armstrong: It'll be a sad day when First Lady Michelle Obama leaves the White House

Michelle Obama speaks during the first day of the DNC, at the Wells Fargo Center, July 25th, 2016, in Philadelphia.

I RECENTLY SAW a cartoon depicting a masculine-looking Michelle Obama scowling at a shapely Melania Trump, who's holding a Trump campaign sign.

Next to the illustration are the words: "Make the first lady great again."

I think we've got a pretty great one already. It will be a sad day when first lady Michelle Obama moves out of the White House - no matter who takes her place. Flotus was in especially fine form Monday night as she formally endorsed Hillary Clinton for the presidency.

"I want a president who will teach our children that everyone in this country matters," Obama said as she addressed the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center. "You see, Hillary understands that the presidency is about one thing and one thing only: It's about leaving something better for our kids."

The delegates roared.

Just like they did when she addressed the gathering in 2008 and again in 2012.

No surprise there.

Obama has been a crowd-pleaser and a class act, rarely stumbling even in the face of brutally harsh, often-race-based criticism of not only her role in her husband's administration but of her personal appearance.

Beginning in 2008, when she infamously told a crowd, "For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country," to Monday night's much-anticipated, headline-making speech, she has been relentlessly scrutinized.

That's a hard place to be.

Think about what it's been like to have been her these past two terms. She's no fan of politics. Living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue was her husband's dream, not hers. Yet she's admirably performed her role even in the face of withering scrutiny from folks who have picked her apart for everything from - gasp - daring to go sleeveless to championing Let's Move, her signature initiative to fight childhood obesity and encourage healthier lifestyles.

The Flotus with the double Ivy League degrees, whom Fox News once referred to as "Obama's Baby Mama," has managed to take the vaunted role of first lady and make it appear relatable, greeting guests to the 2016 White House Easter Egg Roll wearing black, high-top Chuck Taylors by Converse, or famously shopping at Target back in 2011.

She got ripped for that, too.

It's disgusting how she gets called "ape," "Moochelle," and "ugly" to the point that a weaker-minded person would have taken up permanent residency on a therapist's couch.

But somehow, the nation's first African American first lady has managed to keep her high favorability ratings and her sense of humor. The latter was on display last week during a videotaped appearance that aired on CBS's The Late Late Show With James Corden. In one of the show's trademark "Carpool Karaoke" skits, she bantered easily with Corden about not getting to ride in the front seat of a car during the last seven-and-a-half years, and sings and dances along to Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Yours" and Beyoncé's "Single Ladies."

If you can watch this video without smiling or bopping in your seat, then you've got a heart of stone. Obama mimics signature moves from Beyoncé's video and dances in the car, all while wearing what looks like an inexpensive summer dress.

At one point, rapper Missy Elliott pops up in the backseat of the car and Obama shows off her rap skills with "Get Ur Freak On" and Elliott's new cut, "This Is for My Girls," which was inspired by Obama's Let Girls Learn initiative, which tries to remove challenges that prevent girls around the world from going to school.

Monday night, as Obama once again addressed the DNC,

my mind flashed back to eight years ago. She spoke so eloquently back then - which is probably why some of those words wound up in a campaign speech given last week by Melania Trump, wife of the 2016 Republican presidential candidate. One of Donald Trump's staffers later accepted blame for the gaffe.

Last night's endorsement will help, especially since Obama isn't known for having been especially close to the Clintons in the past.

Obama referenced that seeming cool period in their relationship following the bruising 2008 primary fight, and praised Clinton for her demeanor in the aftermath.

"When she didn't win the nomination eight years ago, she didn't get angry or disillusioned," Obama pointed out Monday. "Hillary did not pack up and go home. Because as a true public servant, Hillary knows this is so much bigger than her own desires and disappointments."

My favorite part of her speech came when Obama pointed out she wakes up every day in the White House, a house built in part by African slaves.

"Because of Hillary Clinton, my daughters and all of our sons and daughters, now take for granted that a woman can be president of the United States," Obama said. "Don't let anyone ever tell you this country isn't great.

"Because this right now is the greatest country on earth."


armstrj@phillynews.com

215-854-2223 @JeniceArmstrong

Blog: ph.ly/HeyJen