Highlights from the Washington Post:
CHILDREN: Obama said serving as first lady is an honor and a privilege. But four years ago, at the Democratic convention in Denver that nominated her husband, she worried that her two daughters might be affected by the glare of the national spotlight and being moved from their school, friends and home if he were elected. Obama said her most important title is still “mom-in-chief.”
FAMILY: Obama said she and her husband were raised by families that didn’t have much money, but instilled in both of them the values of hard work, dignity and decency. Her father was a pump operator at the city water plant. He was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when she and her brother were young. “But every morning, I watched my father wake up with a smile, grab his walker, prop himself up against the bathroom sink, and slowly shave and button his uniform,” Obama said.
HEALTH CARE: Barack Obama refused to leave health care overhaul for another president to tackle, Michelle Obama said. “He didn’t care whether it was the easy thing to do politically — that’s not how he was raised — he cared that it was the right thing to do,” she said. GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney has said that if elected he will repeal Obama’s health care law.
WOMEN: In a subtle shot at the Republican platform on abortion, Obama said the president believes that “women are more than capable of making our own choices about our bodies and our health care.” The president also signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, she said, which makes it easier for women to sue for equal pay if they earn less than their male counterparts.
EDUCATION: When they were first married, the Obamas’ combined monthly student loan bills cost more than their mortgage, she said. That’s why Barack Obama wants to increase student financial aid while keeping interest rates low, Michelle Obama said.
WHITE HOUSE: After more than three years of living in the White House, Obama said she is well aware of the pressures of the presidency. The issues that come across the desk in the Oval Office are always the hard ones, she said, and the decisions a president makes reveal his character.
AMERICAN SPIRIT: Since becoming first lady in January 2009, Obama said she has been inspired by the kindness and sacrifice she has seen from Americans. She mentioned teachers in a near-bankrupt school district who promised to keep teaching even without pay and members of the U.S. military who have overcome serious battlefield injuries.