Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'My Husband Has the Makings of a Great President; Engrossed: Obama Watches His Wife Make Her Speech on TV in Kansas City

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'My Husband Has the Makings of a Great President; Engrossed: Obama Watches His Wife Make Her Speech on TV in Kansas City

Article excerpt

Byline: PAUL THOMPSON

MICHELLE OBAMA gave the most important speech of her life as she attempted to persuade America to elect her husband.

In an emotional speech to the Democratic Party convention last night, she said Barack Obama would make "an extraordinary president".

As the wife of possibly the first black man to lead the US, it was also her opportunity to show voters she has what it takes to be First Lady.

Standing before almost 20,000 people, with every word cheered, Mrs Obama spoke about her life with her husband and said he was the change that America needed.

She spoke of Mr Obama's values as a husband and father and highlighted her working class roots during her speech at the Pepsi Centre in Denver, saying: "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." Mrs Obama, 44, a former corporate lawyer, told the audience that her husband was the man to lead them to victory in the November election against John McCain. "I come here as a wife who loves my husband and believes he will be an extraordinary president," she said.

Mrs Obama has been heavily criticised for comments she made on the campaign trail that raised doubts about her patriotism. But she made sure those at the convention and a nationwide audience know where her loyalties lie. "All of us are driven by a simple belief that the world as it is just won't do, that we have an obligation to fight for the world as it should be," she said. "That is the thread that connects our hearts.

"That is the thread that runs through my journey and Barack's journey and so many other improbable journeys that have brought us here tonight, where the current of history meets this new tide of hope. And you see, that is why I love this country." Mrs Obama told the convention her husband represented traditional American values a comment aimed at dispelling charges that he is elitist and out of touch with working class Americans. …

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