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.