Four years ago in Denver, the country was introduced to the powerhouse that keeps Barack Obama steady.
Four years later, tonight is a big night for First Lady Michelle Obama. She will stand in front of the country with one mission: Telling every American why her husband deserves another shot in the White House. In a phone interview this afternoon with select members of the press, Mrs. Obama explained to ESSENCE what she’s looking forward to most about tonight’s speech.
“I want to remind people around the country about the experiences that make my husband the man and the President that he is today,” said the First Lady.
No one knows better what the President has endured since taking office, including the barrage of naysayers and the tireless, long hours away from his friends, family and children. Michelle Obama says she is here at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, to champion her husband and show how he will move this country forward, rescue the economy and provide opportunities to those who are most in need.
First on her mind, she says, are the busy moms preparing their children to start school this week. She aptly includes herself in that group, saying how anxious she was to hear about Sasha and Malia’s first day back.
“This time of year put things, a lot of things, into perspective,” says Mrs. Obama. “We’re doing what we can to prepare our children, but many of the issues that we are debating in this election will affect them not just in school, but for their entire future and those of their own children as well.”
In tonight’s speech she will point to health-care reform and the success in getting it passed so that women and children especially can now have access to a full range of health choices. Then she’ll reference the President’s commitment to equal pay for equal work in passing the Lilly Ledbetter Act, a step most important to African American women, who are often the heads of household and bringing the only source of income into their homes.
“When so many women are the breadwinners for our families in this country, women’s success in this economy is the key to family success in this economy,” she says. “And we as women understand that better than anyone.”
The First Lady will also talk about the President’s commitment to a subject close to her own heart: Education, policies allowing every child access to good schools and a college education without breaking the bank.
Clear in her message, Mrs. Obama will dodge the daggers thrown her way and do everything in her power to ensure that everyone knows what’s at stake in November.
“While we’ve come a long way, it’s critical that we keep moving forward. We simply cannot turn back now. There’s simply too much on the line.”