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Transcript Of Michelle Obama's DNC Speech Affirms Her Family-First Ethic


Now that the Obama era is coming to an end, the legacy of the 44th President of the United States is coalescing into a clear form. And while his achievements and controversies in the areas of health care, climate change, and international relations will be well-recorded by historians, it's also the case that President Obama will be remembered as a true family man, not least because first lady Michelle Obama has been both a supportive spouse and a knowledgeable advocate for her husband's policies. As the transcript of Michelle Obama's DNC speech affirms, family and politics are inextricably linked.

From the outset, it was clear that Obama intended to draw a connection between personal responsibility and political ethic. Soon after taking the stage to loud cheers from the crowd in Philadelphia, Obama said that her and Barack's daughters are "the heart of our hearts, the center of our world." She described their experiences as parents soon after moving into the White House, saying that "we as parents are their most important role models. And let me tell you, Barack and I take that same approach to our jobs as president and first lady, because we know that our words and our actions matter, not just to our girls, but to children across this country."  

Obama, not unlike presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, enjoyed a successful career as a lawyer prior to becoming first lady. According to her biography at, the first lady graduated from Harvard Law School in 1988, and soon thereafter met Barack, "the man who would become the love of her life," while working at the Sidley & Austin law firm in Chicago.  

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US First Lady Michelle Obama speaks during Day 1 of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, July 25, 2016. / AFP / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

That Obama has been so well-versed in the areas of health policy and women and girls' rights as the first lady is a direct consequence of her education and background. As an undergraduate at Princeton University, Obama majored in sociology and African-American studies. While living in Chicago as an adult, she served in various roles related to urban development and policy, including spearheading the first community service program at the University of Chicago while serving there as Associate Dean of Student Services.

As first lady, Obama has become known for her work on the Let's Move campaign, which seeks to end the epidemic of childhood obesity within a generation. More recently, she has spearheaded Let Girls Learn, which is described at its website as "a United States government initiative to ensure adolescent girls get the education they deserve."

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PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 25: First lady Michelle Obama acknowledges the crowd before delivering remarks on the first day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center, July 25, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Philadelphia, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Democratic National Convention kicked off July 25. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)

In a 2013 Vogue interview, President Obama elaborated on his family's ethic as both public and private figures. "Everything we have done has been viewed through the lens of family," he said. "Beyond just the immediate family to the larger American family, and making sure everybody’s included and making sure that everybody’s got a seat at the table."

It was in this spirit of inclusiveness that the first lady passionately, forcefully, and beautifully threw her support behind Hillary Clinton, stating, "Hillary understands that the president is about one thing and one thing only. It's about leaving something better for our kids."

A full transcript of Michelle Obama's convention remarks can be found below: