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Michelle Obama Speech Tonight: 7 Highlights, Video, and Analysis

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Here are five highlights from Michelle Obama's speech to the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday night, the first night of the Democratic convention.

For a full analysis of the speech, and to watch it live, see here. See a full preview with color commentary here.

1) On being a mother and First Lady

"While I believed deeply in my husband’s vision for this country … like any mother, I was worried about what it would mean for our girls if he got that chance. How would we keep them grounded under the glare of the national spotlight? 

I loved the life we had built for our girls…I deeply loved the man I had built that life with … I loved Barack just the way he was.

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."

2) On her financial background

"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. ... And when my brother and I finally made it to college, nearly all of our tuition came from student loans and grants."

3) On Obama's background

"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." 

4) On Obama's economic vision

"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."

5) On women

"Obama 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."

6) On student debt

"And believe it or not, when we were first married, our combined monthly student loan bills were actually higher than our mortgage. 

We were so young, so in love, and so in debt.  

That’s why Barack has fought so hard to increase student aid and keep interest rates down, because he wants every young person to fulfill their promise and be able to attend college without a mountain of debt."

7) On love

"He’s 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.  

I see the concern in his eyes ... and I hear the determination in his voice as he tells me, “You won’t believe what these folks are going through, Michelle … it’s not right.  We’ve got to keep working to fix this.  We’ve got so much more to do.” 

I see how those stories – our collection of struggles and hopes and dreams – I see how that’s what drives Barack Obama every single day. 

And I didn’t think it was possible, but today, I love my husband even more than I did four years ago … even more than I did 23 years ago, when we first met."

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