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Monday, August 25, 2008

South Side Girl

posted by on August 25 at 16:50 PM

Michelle Obama isn’t speaking until 8 p.m. (Denver time) tonight, but the Obama campaign is already pushing out excerpts of her speech and a summary of a video piece, called South Side Girl, that will introduce Michelle.

The dominant theme is that she’s an American woman with a deeply American story. Got that? American! This is intended, of course, to combat Republican attempts to paint Michelle Obama as somehow anti-American, angry, and, like her husband, too much of an unknown quantity. Some advance excerpts from her speech, which Annie Wagner will be liveblogging and which Slog readers tell us you can watch at Spitfire among other places:

But each of us also comes here tonight by way of our own improbable journey. I come here tonight as a sister, blessed with a brother who is my mentor, my protector and my lifelong friend. I come here as a wife who loves my husband and believes he will be an extraordinary president. I come here as a Mom whose girls are the heart of my heart and the center of my world – they’re the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning, and the last thing I think about when I go to bed at night.

Their future – and all our children’s future – is my stake in this election.
And I come here as a daughter – raised on the South Side of Chicago by a father who was a blue collar city worker, and a mother who stayed at home with my brother and me. My mother’s love has always been a sustaining force for our family, and one of my greatest joys is seeing her integrity, her compassion, and her intelligence reflected in my own daughters.

And Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values: that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say you’re going to do; that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don’t know them, and even if you don’t agree with them…

And Barack and I set out to build lives guided by these values, and pass them on to the next generation. Because we want our children – and all children in this nation – to know that the only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them…

And in the end, 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. He’s the same man who drove me and our new baby daughter home from the hospital ten years ago this summer, inching along at a snail’s pace, peering anxiously at us in the rearview 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.

We’ll find out if the actual performance meets expectations. A few minutes ago, Congressman Jim McDermott, who is here in the convention hall for the speech, told me (after a very, very long pause to collect his most politic thoughts) what he believes Michelle Obama needs to accomplish.


The best thing she can do is portray who she is, so people get to know her. And also talk about her husband. Because really, we’re electing her husband, we’re not electing her… I think she should use it as an opportunity to say that while she’s doing her thing about herself, she also tells us who he is…

We’re still getting to know her. I ran for governor in 1972, and I lost. I got my ass kicked. And it was dumb to have run. Somebody said to me at that time, ‘You could have been the best governor we’ve ever had, maybe, but we didn’t know you. We have to feel like we know you. I think I’m there now, but she should use this as an opportunity to say who he is.

Check Annie’s LiveSlog to see how it plays.

RSS icon Comments


Sounds like a nice speech.

Is there going to be music to the tune of "Up Town Girl"?

Posted by PC | August 25, 2008 4:56 PM

but wtf with the timing....10 pm Eastern? Few can watch.

Posted by PC | August 25, 2008 4:57 PM

I love LiveSlog!

So, which channel are we simulcasting?

Posted by Will in Seattle | August 25, 2008 5:08 PM

Maybe Jim should run for governor next time around...

Posted by curiousadam | August 25, 2008 5:11 PM

Jim Mc Dermott should retire with a year of notice - then - the fight to take his seat will be the Seattle political dog fight/pile of the century.

There are easily ten well know names who could pounce to get that seat, and some others as well.

Better have money, money, and some very smart people on your side ....

Awaiting the Pile, biting, clawing and scratching

Posted by John | August 25, 2008 5:41 PM

Please LiveSlog MSNBC. It's the only news channel I can stomach.

Posted by elswinger | August 25, 2008 5:58 PM

Yeah, but CNN has more shouting.

Posted by Will in Seattle | August 25, 2008 7:22 PM

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