When the first lady took the stage in Charlotte, NC, tonight shining in pink, she had to wait for loud cheers of "four more years" to subside before she could start her speech. After an emotional video on the Obama family and a moving introduction by a military mom, delegates were in the mood to give Michelle a warm welcome.
"I loved Barack just the way he was," Michelle Obama said Tuesday night at the DNC, admitting that four years ago, she wasn't quite sure she wanted Barack to run for president. She said, "Our life before moving to Washington was filled with simple joys. Saturdays at soccer games, Sundays at Grandma's house. And a date night for Barack and me was either dinner or a movie, because as an exhausted mom, I couldn't stay awake for both." Michelle fondly remembered, "He was still the guy who'd picked me up for our dates in a car that was so rusted out, I could actually see the pavement going by through a hole in the passenger side door." She admitted she was afraid everything would change when he became president.
Much of Michelle's speech reminisced about the early days with Barack, a theme she told us she would touch on when we spoke to her earlier in the day. But telling the story of vintage Barack had more than a sentimental value. It helped paint Barack Obama as someone who inherently understands and will fight for the middle class, and it offered up a potential distinction from his opponent, the wealthy and corporation-friendly Mitt Romney. As Michelle put it, "Barack and I were both raised by families who didn't have much in the way of money or material possessions but who had given us something far more valuable — their unconditional love, their unflinching sacrifice, and the chance to go places they had never imagined for themselves." Michelle explained that thanks to their backgrounds, she and Barack respect humility, honesty, and hard work. And according to her, Barack hasn't abandoned those values. As president, she argued, Barack has fought for health care, fair pay, education, and tax policies that help middle class Americans no different from her dad or his mom. And when it comes to women, Michelle said, "He believes that women are more than capable of making our own choices about our bodies and our health care." A sentiment that aroused cheers from the audience at the convention.
"I have seen firsthand that being president doesn't change who you are," Michelle said addressing her initial concerns. "It reveals who you are." As she closed her speech, Michelle became emotional describing her role as "mom-in-chief" and how she thinks another Obama term would provide a better future for her daughters and all Americans. Did you watch the first lady's speech? Tell us what you thought, and click through for tons of photos from Michelle's big night.