START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good
2,055,399 people care about Politics

Michelle Obama’s Speech – Read it Here if You Missed It

  • 2 of 3

Like so many of us, that was the measure of his success in life – being able to earn a decent living that allowed him to support his family.

And as I got to know Barack, I realized that even though he’d grown up all the way across the country, he’d been brought up just like me.

Barack was raised by a single mother who struggled to pay the bills, and by grandparents who stepped in when she needed help.

Barack’s grandmother started out as a secretary at a community bank…and she moved quickly up the ranks … but like so many women, she hit a glass ceiling.

And for years, men no more qualified than she was – men she had actually trained – were promoted up the ladder ahead of her, earning more and more money while Barack’s family continued to scrape by.

But day after day, she kept on waking up at dawn to catch the bus…arriving at work before anyone else … giving her best without complaint or regret.

And she would often tell Barack, “So long as you kids do well, Bar, that’s all that really matters.”

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.

Learned from example

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.

And standing before you four years ago, I knew that I didn’t want any of that to change if Barack became President.

Well, today, 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.

What being President “really looks like”

You see, I’ve gotten to see up close and personal what being president really looks like.

And I’ve seen how the issues that come across a President’s desk are always the hard ones – the problems where no amount of data or numbers will get you to the right answer … the judgment calls where the stakes are so high, and there is no margin for error.

And as President, you can get all kinds of advice from all kinds of people.

But 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.

So when it comes to rebuilding our economy, Barack is thinking about folks like my dad and like his grandmother.

He’s thinking about the pride that comes from a hard day’s work.

That’s why he signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to help women get equal pay for equal work.

That’s why he cut taxes for working families and small businesses and fought to get the auto industry back on its feet.

That’s how he brought our economy from the brink of collapse to creating jobs again – jobs you can raise a family on, good jobs right here in the United States of America.

When it comes to the health of our families, Barack refused to listen to all those folks who told him to leave health reform for another day, another president.

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.

  • 2 of 3

Read more: , , , ,

AP Photo/David Goldman

have you shared this story yet?

some of the best people we know are doing it


+ add your own
9:25PM PDT on Sep 9, 2012

great speech! thanks for posting...

12:36AM PDT on Sep 9, 2012

The quote, “I am a soldier, so my son can be a farmer, so his son can be
a poet,” comes to mind.
That's a good thing.

5:06AM PDT on Sep 7, 2012

I prefer having folks in the white house that grew up relatively poor in small spaces, hard working parents, had rusty vehicles to drive at one time and student loans to pay off.
Then two rich guys like R&R who were born with silver spoons in their orfices and have no idea what it's like to live in the real-world outside of their sheltered world.

3:55AM PDT on Sep 7, 2012

thanks for sharing

12:49AM PDT on Sep 7, 2012

Thanks for sharing,,,,,,,,,

8:05PM PDT on Sep 6, 2012

Thank goodness we live in a country that "allows" us to dissent and discuss our opinions.
My only regret is that the discussion cannot be more civil. Views that counter mine are interesting, though I often cannot agree with them.

Occasionally I will hear something new and worth investigating. If I ask you a question, it is in the spirit of inquiry - NOT disrespect.

I must say Mrs. Obama's speech was wonderfully personal, addressed the actors in this political theater beautifully and set the stage well for the President's speech this evening.

5:02PM PDT on Sep 6, 2012

A great speech! Thanks for posting!

12:32PM PDT on Sep 6, 2012

The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.

John Kenneth Galbraith

None of us here wish to be like or are envious of Mitt Romney

12:30PM PDT on Sep 6, 2012

The troll gang is out today. The better our speakers are, the more soaring the speech, the more excited, and joyous we are, the more they hate. The trolls come out with more venom dripping rhetoric. They don't understand that in this democracy we listen to the candidates then pick one to vote for. Lies, half truths, and the dehumanizing of the opponent is wrong. Do or Say anything to win like the R&R team do does not help in choosing the best candidate. Voter suppression is incredibly UN American. The trolls no matter what they say will not take away our happiness over our great candidates, and great supporters. I will not read their downer posts...Just stay up beat reading the super posts by our friends.

12:28PM PDT on Sep 6, 2012

Much like dogs they go from blog to blog peeing on fire hydrants leaving behind disease and a nasty odor.

add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

Care2 - Be Extraordinary - Start a Care2 Petition
ads keep care2 free

Recent Comments from Causes

Sheila H, interesting and detailed article. Is there a link to it? It’s extraordinarily unfortunate…

ads keep care2 free

Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.

site feedback


Problem on this page? Briefly let us know what isn't working for you and we'll try to make it right!