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Remarks by the First Lady at the Democratic National Convention

citizen | 9/5/2012, 11:48 a.m.

MRS. OBAMA: Thank you. Thank you so much. (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you so much.

AUDIENCE: Four more years! Four more years!

MRS. OBAMA: With your help. With your help. (Applause.)

Let me start -- I want to start by thanking Elaine. Elaine, thank you so much. We are so grateful for your family's service and sacrifice, and we will always have your back. (Applause.)

Over the past few years as First Lady, I have had the extraordinary privilege of traveling all across this country. And everywhere I've gone, and the people I've met, and the stories I've heard, I have seen the very best of the American spirit. I have seen it in the incredible kindness and warmth that people have shown me and my family, especially our girls.

I've seen it in teachers in a near-bankrupt school district who vowed to keep teaching without pay. (Applause.) I've seen it in people who become heroes at a moment's notice, diving into harm's way to save others; flying across the country to put out a fire; driving for hours to bail out a flooded town.

And I've seen it in our men and women in uniform and our proud military families. (Applause.) In wounded warriors who tell me they're not just going to walk again, they're going to run, and they're going to run marathons. (Applause.) In the young man blinded by a bomb in Afghanistan who said, simply, "I'd give my eyes 100 times again to have the chance to do what I have done and what I can still do."

Every day, the people I meet inspire me. Every day, they make me proud. Every day, they remind me how blessed we are to live in the greatest nation on Earth. (Applause.)

Serving as your First Lady is an honor and a privilege. But back when we first came together four years ago, I still had some concerns about this journey we'd begun. While I believed deeply in my husband's vision for this country, and I was certain he would make an extraordinary President, like any mother, I was worried about what it would mean for our girls if he got that chance. How will we keep them grounded under the glare of the national spotlight? How would they feel being uprooted from their school, their friends, and the only home they'd ever known?

See, our life before moving to Washington was filled with simple joys -- Saturdays at soccer games, Sundays at Grandma's house, and a date night for Barack and me was either dinner or a movie, because as an exhausted mom, I couldn't stay awake for both. (Laughter.)

And the truth is, I loved the life we had built for our girls, and I deeply loved the man I had built that life with -- and I didn't want that to change if he became President. (Applause.) I loved Barack just the way he was.

You see, even back then, when Barack was a senator and a presidential candidate, to me, he was still the guy who picked me up for our dates in a car that was so rusted out, I could actually see the pavement going by in a hole in the passenger side door. (Laughter.) He was the guy whose proudest possession was a coffee table he'd found in a dumpster, and whose only pair of decent shoes was a half size too small. (Laughter.)