Michelle Obama hits a home-run

Transcript of Michelle Obama’s address to the delegates of the Democratic Party convention is here.

Michelle Obama did not concede any ground on the Republican party’s claim to the values of “real” Americans. And she succeeded in making the case that Barack, herself, and the Democrats represent values held by the “real” America.

    “Like so many American families, our families weren’t asking for much.

    They didn’t begrudge anyone else’s success or care that others had much more than they did…in fact, they admired it.

    They simply believed in that fundamental American promise that, even if you don’t start out with much, if you work hard and do what you’re supposed to do, then you should be able to build a decent life for yourself and an even better life for your kids and grandkids.

    That’s how they raised us…that’s what we learned from their example.

    We learned about dignity and decency – that how hard you work matters more than how much you make…that helping others means more than just getting ahead yourself.”

    We learned about honesty and integrity – that the truth matters…that you don’t take shortcuts or play by your own set of rules…and success doesn’t count unless you earn it fair and square.

    We learned about gratitude and humility – that so many people had a hand in our success, from the teachers who inspired us to the janitors who kept our school clean…and we were taught to value everyone’s contribution and treat everyone with respect.

    Those are the values Barack and I – and so many of you – are trying to pass on to our own children.

    That’s who we are.

Here are other great lines on values and character from Michelle Obama:

    “after so many struggles and triumphs and moments that have tested my husband in ways I never could have imagined, I have seen firsthand that being president doesn’t change who you are – it reveals who you are.
    “at the end of the day, when it comes time to make that decision, as President, all you have to guide you are your values, and your vision, and the life experiences that make you who you are.
    “He didn’t care whether it was the easy thing to do politically – that’s not how he was raised – he cared that it was the right thing to do.

    He did it because he believes that here in America, our grandparents should be able to afford their medicine…our kids should be able to see a doctor when they’re sick…and no one in this country should ever go broke because of an accident or illness.

    And he believes that women are more than capable of making our own choices about our bodies and our health care…that’s what my husband stands for.”

On Obama as “the other” who does not understand what America is all about:

    “Barack knows the American Dream because he’s lived it”

Here’s a great zinger that draws a distinction between Obama and Romney and, at the same time, sharpens the perception that most Americans have about how the Republicans behave once they get up the ladder:

    “And he believes that when you’ve worked hard, and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity…you do not slam it shut behind you…you reach back, and you give other folks the same chances that helped you succeed.”

Another zinger against the Romney/GOP definition of success:

    “He’s (Barack) the same man who started his career by turning down high paying jobs and instead working in struggling neighborhoods where a steel plant had shut down, fighting to rebuild those communities and get folks back to work…because for Barack, success isn’t about how much money you make, it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.”

She capped the obligatory “why America is great” part of her speech with the following:

    “in the end, more than anything else, that is the story of this country – the story of unwavering hope grounded in unyielding struggle.”

That’s my favorite line in her speech:

    the story of this country – the story of unwavering hope grounded in unyielding struggle.

Home run from Michelle. She reminded Democrats, and Americans, why they voted for Barack four years ago and she motivated them to give him four more years.

You have to watch her speak. (HERE) She is an extraordinary speaker.

Manuel Buencamino

Buencamino was a weekly columnist for Today and Business Mirror. He has also written articles in other publications like Malaya, Newsbreak, "Yellow Pad" in Business World, and "Talk of the Town" in the Inquirer. He is currently with Interaksyon, the news site of TV5. MB blogged for Filipino Voices, blogs for ProPinoy and maintains a blog, Uniffors.com. Game-changers for him, as far as music goes, are Monk, Miles, Jimi, and Santana.

  • UPnnGrd

    A few Filipinos and Fil-Ams may think first of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama before putting their support to Obama re-election. REASON — this strong push by Hillary Clinton in particular and by Obama administration against human trafficking (which would include GRO’s sent to Japan, elsewhere). As a few Pinoys/Pinays would state — no damage naman, and the GRO-trade creates jobs jobs jobs —- so Obama administration should stop their nonsense push against trafficking.

    Food for thought. The Obama-2012 re-election may be wrong wrong wrong.

    • Human trafficking is an evil deed, even Gloria pushed strongly against it, reason why some pro-Gloria Filipinos think imprisoning her for her crimes is wrong, wrong, wrong, :).

      • UPnnGrd

        Sure is surprising why Noynoy admin has not thrown GuLLOO back in jail, isn’t it? Can’t be because of the Mupas order, that will be a flip-flop. Mupas is lower in the organizational chart than Supreme Court, and deLima threw GuLOO in jail despite a SupremeCourt order.

        Nagsalita kaya si Gazmin?

  • This is an honest question, and no malice here: If Mrs. Obama thinks that America is great, what could be her reason for saying that she was proud of America “for the first time” when her husband was elected president of America in 2008? Isn’t there a hint of hypocrisy in what she’s saying now?

    • manuel buencamino


    • Asked for a response to the remark, Obama campaign spox Bill Burton said, “Of course Michelle is proud of her country, which is why she and Barack talk constantly about how their story wouldn’t be possible in any other nation on Earth. What she meant is that she’s really proud at this moment because for the first time in a long time, thousands of Americans who’ve never participated in politics before are coming out in record numbers to build a grassroots movement for change.” ABC News, 2008

      • Added thought. Sometimes we have a concept in our head that simply comes out our mouths differently and not everyone hears things the same. Especially if the listeners have a partisan agenda. That’s why Mitt Romney’s people are constantly bailing him out from misstatements. He didn’t really mean what he said.

        Anyone who questioned Michele Obama’s patriotism or pride would be lunatic in my book. Dense. Not able to see what this woman does and represents.

        • UPnnGrd

          A criteria for that (Mitt Romney misstatements) is Self-Discipline. Or Attention-to-Detail. Which is what I would say — that Randy David didn’t have attention to detail when Randy David used the word “delusional” to describe CJ Sereno when Sereno exhibited lack of self-discipline as she said the “God Appointed ME!!!” chutzpah nonsense. This is when she tried to say “really, it wasn’t PersiNoynoy… he didn’t have a hand in my being Chief Justice… I owe him no favors!’

        • Ah, the wonders of American rhetoric when it comes to having partisan agenda, understanding differently from what was clearly stated and labeling the hearer ignorant nuts, hehehe.

          • manuel buencamino

            “I’m not familiar precisely with what I said, but I’ll stand by what I said, whatever it was.” —Mitt Romney (May 17, 2012)

          • It’s an art form.

          • abstract, to be more specific.

          • ha. surrealistically abstract, ala Dali

      • UPnnGrd

        It was wise for Bill Burton to not mention “WhatA??? A black becoming USA President?” He’s too high up the food-chain.

        But on Michelle… “… hint of hypocrisy”… “proud of America for the first time”.

        I don’t know how Roberto intended to use the word “hypocrisy”… Me, though, I had no problems with saying Michelle was very sincere that she was proud of America FOR THE FIRST TIME. Now, I wouldn’t know what reasons she had to say “… for the first time”. If she meant “… that a black” has become USA president, then I would agree with her. It is unbelievable —- it speaks about the continuing maturity of the American voters — I’ll say it again, it is mind-boggling, I thought a white woman would be first minority…. It is mind-boggling that a black has become USA president “… just like that”. What would be show-stopper issues in Kenya, Burma, Pilipinas, Iran or Indonesia — Obama’s parents were divorced or that he did not marry the race of his mother or that he did not choose the religion of his father’s clan —- became minor consideration when USA voters chose Obama over McCain.

        And now, Mormons are not really Christians has become minor, too!!! Amazing America. Maybe a Latino from Texas versus a white-rifle-shooting woman from Alaska become Republican candidate for 2016 while Democratic Party chooses a Buddhist.

        • UPnnGrd

          But in retrospect, first black president not that big a deal. If Texas of many years ago could .approvingly shout “YeY!!!!” at a Warren Moon in their uniform and if a Doug Williams could get his team to win SuperBowl, black president — easy as pie.

          Which tells me that a Latin-Am has much much better chance than Fil-Am from becoming USA President.

        • UP n, maybe Mrs. Obama was indeed proud of her country before her husband won the election but forgot about it due to her excitement and so there really was a “first time” before the second “first time”, who knows, :).

          If my friend Joe Am believes it is so, who am I to contest that.

  • Thanks. I find both Obamas to be very inspirational people, and immensely capable. And I am depressed at the runamuck stupidity that appears to infest a little less than half of the existing voting population.

  • UPnnGrd

    Many big differences — USA presidential politics and Pilipinas presidential politics.