The Chronicle Covers The Conventions

Hofstra’s student newspaper covers the national conventions.

Michelle Obama Humanizes Her Husband, Barack

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Michelle Obama headlined the first night of the Democratic National Convention, where she emphasized her working class roots from the South Side of Chicago (Samuel Rubenfeld/The Chronicle)

Michelle Obama headlined the first night of the Democratic National Convention, where she emphasized her working class roots from the South Side of Chicago (Samuel Rubenfeld/The Chronicle)

DENVER–Michelle Obama spent her headlining speech at the Democratic Convention Monday night burnishing the working class roots of her husband, Barack, defining the candidate as more human than rock star.

“You know, what struck me when I first met Barack was that even though he had this funny name, even though he’d grown up all the way across the continent in Hawaii, his family was so much like mine,” she said. “He was raised by grandparents who were working class folks just like my parents and by a single mother who struggled to pay the bills, just like we did. Like my family, they scrimped and saved so that he could have opportunities they never had themselves.”

After the speech came a truly unscripted moment, a rarity at carefully choreographed political conventions. Barack appeared on screen via video feed from Kansas City, Mo., and their two daughters, Sasha, 7, and Malia, 10, joined their mom on stage to simply talk to their dad.

He asked the kids how they thought their mother did on stage. “I think she did good,” Sasha said.

Malia chimed in: “I think so, too,” adding, “We love you, Daddy.”

Though this one was much more successful, Michelle Obama’s speeches throughout the 19-month campaign have not gone without controversy. During one speech she said, “For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country.”

Cindy McCain, the wife of presumptive Republican nominee John McCain pounced on the remark at the time, causing a minor scandal across the political press.

Michelle Obama also used her speech to thank Hillary Clinton, Barack’s primary rival, for her campaign. She “put those 18 million cracks in the glass ceiling, so that our daughters and sons can dream a little bigger and aim a little higher,” referring to the votes Clinton received during the primary campaign.

She ended the speech by telling a story about their first night with their daughter Malia.

“After all that’s happened these past 19 months, the Barack Obama I know today is the same man I fell in love with 19 years ago,” she said. “He’s the same man who drove me and our new baby daughter home from the hospital 10 years ago this summer, inching along at a snail’s pace, peering anxiously at us in the rear-view mirror, feeling the whole weight of her future in his hands, determined to give her everything he’d struggled so hard for himself, determined to give her what he never had: the affirming embrace of a father’s love.”

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Written by chroniclenews

August 26, 2008 at 11:58 am

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