9月4日,在美國北卡羅來納州夏洛特舉行的民主黨全國代表大會上,美國第一夫人米歇爾激情演講,為丈夫競選助陣。

9月4日,在美國北卡羅來納州夏洛特舉行的民主黨全國代表大會上,美國第一夫人米歇爾激情演講,為丈夫競選助陣。

以下是演講全文,中文翻譯:

非常感謝,伊蓮……我們非常感謝來自你家庭的服務和犧牲,我們永遠支持你。

過去的幾年來,藉由作為第一夫人的非凡殊榮,我幾乎遊遍了整個美國。

而無論我去到哪裡,從我所見到的人們,所聽到的故事中,我都看到了最真切的美國精神。

在人們對我和我的家庭,特別是我的女兒們那難以置信的友善和熱情中,我看到了它。

在一個瀕臨破產的學區的教師們不收分文、堅持執教的誓言中,我看到了它。

在人們在突如其來的緊急召喚下化身英雄,縱身撲向災害去拯救他人……飛過整個國家去撲滅大火……驅車數小時去援助被淹沒的城鎮時,我看到了它。

在我們身著軍裝的男女軍人和自豪的軍屬身上……在受傷的戰士們告訴我他們不僅會再次站立行走,而是會奔跑,甚至參加馬拉鬆時……在一位於阿富汗因炸彈而失明的年輕人“……為了我所做的和我還將要做的,我寧願失去我的眼睛一百次。”這樣輕描淡寫的話語中,我看到了它。

每一天,我所見到的人們都鼓舞著我……每一天,他們都令我驕傲……每一天,他們都在提醒我,能夠生活在這地球上最偉大的國度中是多麼的幸福。

成為諸位的第一夫人,是我的榮耀和幸運……但當我們四年前首次聚在一起的時候,我仍對我們即將展開的旅程心懷疑慮。

對我丈夫心中的祖國願景,我滿懷信心……對他將成為一位出色的總統,我也深信不疑……但是就像所有的母親一樣,我也曾擔心如果他當選,這對我們的女兒們意味著什麼。

身處萬眾矚目的聚光燈下,我們要如何讓他們保持腳踏實地?

當他們被迫離開從小熟悉的家、學校、和朋友時,會有什麼感受?

在搬到華盛頓之前,我們的生活充滿簡單的快樂……週六參加足球賽,週日則在祖母家……還有巴拉克和我的約會之夜,我們要么出去晚餐,要么去看場電影,因為作為一個筋疲力盡的老媽,我實在沒法同時去晚餐和電影還不打瞌睡。

說真話,我愛我們為女兒們所創造的生活……我深愛和我一起創造這生活的男人……而且我不願意讓這一切因為他當了總統而發生變化。

我愛的就是巴拉克原來的樣子。

你們瞧,即便當時巴拉克已經是一名參議員兼總統候選人了……對我而言,他仍是那個開著輛鏽跡斑斑的破車來接我去約會的男子,我幾乎都能透過乘客這側車門上的破洞看到飛逝而過的路面……他仍是那個把一張從垃圾箱裡翻出來的咖啡桌當做自己最了不起的財產的男子,那個僅有的一雙體面的鞋子比自己的腳還小了半號的男子。

然而,當巴拉克開始向我講述他的家庭時——就在那一刻,我明白我遇到了一個志同道合的靈魂,他的價值觀和成長經歷與我驚人地相似。

如你們所知,養育巴拉克和我的兩個家庭都沒有太多金錢或物質財富,但是,他們卻給予了我們更為珍貴的東西——無條件的愛,大無畏的犧牲,以及到達他們自己從未想像過的目標的機會。

我的父親是城市水廠的一名泵浦操作員,在我和哥哥很小的時候就被診斷出患有多發性硬化症。

即使當時還小,我也知道他常常被病痛折磨……我知道有許多清晨,僅僅連起​​床對他來說都是一場痛苦掙扎。

然而每天早晨,我都看到父親面帶微笑地醒來,抓緊他的助步器,用浴室的洗臉池支撐著自己的身體,緩慢地刮好鬍鬚,扣好制服。

然後,當他在漫長的一天工作後,我和哥哥會站在通往我家小公寓的樓梯頂上,耐心地等著迎接他回家……我們注視著他彎下腰,舉起一條腿,然後是另一條腿,慢慢地爬上樓梯,迎向我們的懷抱。然而無論多麼艱難,我父親從未請過一天假……他和我母親決心要讓我和哥哥受到他們夢寐以求的教育。

當哥哥和我終於升上大學的時候,我們幾乎所有的學費都來源於學生貸款和補助金。

但是我父親仍不得不自己掏腰包來支付我們學費中的一小部分。

每個學期,他都堅持按時支付學費賬單,在他捉襟見肘的時候,他甚至寧可​​去貸款。

能送自己的子女去上大學,他是如此地驕傲……他從未讓我們因為父親姍姍來遲的支票而錯過任何一個報到截止日期。

你們瞧,對我的父親來說,這是身為一個男人的責任。

就和我們中的很多人一樣,這就是他衡量生命成功與否的方式——能否靠工作讓自己的家庭過上體面的生活。

當我逐漸開始了解巴拉克之後,我發現雖然他在美國的另一頭長大,他的成長經歷卻和我驚人地相似。

巴拉克成長在一個單親家庭裡,他的母親依靠努力工作來維持家庭生活,在她實在無力支持的時候,祖父母也會伸出援手。

巴拉克的祖母最初在社區銀行當秘書……她升職很快……但就和其他許多女性一樣,她的升職最終還是受到了性別限制。

數年間,那些不如她有能力的男性員工——事實上,還是她親手培訓的男性員工——都被提升到了比她高的職位,掙的錢越來越多,而與此同時,巴拉克一家只能勉強度日。

但一天又一天,她仍然早起去趕公車……比其他任何人都早到公司……她總是做到最好,從不抱怨,從不懊悔。

而且,她常常這樣告訴巴拉克:“只要你的孩​​子過得好,巴,其他什麼都不重要。”

就和許許​​多多美國家庭一樣,我們倆的家庭都知足常樂。

他們並不嫉妒其他人的成功,也不在意其他人是否比他們擁有更多……事實上,他們為此心存感激。

他們就是心懷著最根本的美國希望,即是說,哪怕你出身貧寒,只要你努力工作,做好本職,那麼你就能讓自己過上體面的生活,而你的子女和他們的孩子也會過得越來越好。

他們就是這樣把我們養育成人……並且成為了我們的學習榜樣。

我們學會了做自尊正派的人——努力工作遠比掙錢多少重要……幫助別人比自己爭先更有意義。我們學會了做誠實守信的人——要講究真​​相……不能妄圖走捷徑或耍小伎倆……以及公平爭取來的成功才算數。

我們學會了感激和謙卑——我們的成功依靠許多人的幫助,從啟迪我們的老師到保持學校整潔的校工……我們學會珍惜每個人的貢獻,並以尊重待人。

這些是巴拉克和我——以及在場的眾多人士——都試圖傳遞給子女的價值觀。

我們就是這樣的人。

四年前,站在你們面前的我知道,如果巴拉克成為總統,我不願意這些價值觀產生任何改變。

那麼,今天,在那麼多的艱苦奮鬥和勝利,以及我的丈夫所經歷過的那麼多我從未想像過的考驗之後,我親眼認識到,當總統並不會改變一個人——它只會揭示一個人。

你們瞧,我有幸能近距離親眼觀察當總統是怎麼一回事。

我發現放到總統桌上的問題總是難題——那些無論多少數據或數字都無法得出正確答案的難題……那些風險如此之高的選擇,根本容不得一星半點的差錯。

還有,作為總統,你會收到各種各樣的人向你發出的各種各樣的建議。

但是到最後,需要做出決定的時刻,作為總統,你所擁有的全部指引就是你的價值觀,判斷力,以及那些對你影響深遠的成長經歷。

因此,當說到重建經濟的時候,巴拉克想到的是像我的父親和他的祖母一樣的人們。

他想到的是一天辛勤工作所帶來的自豪感。

這就是為什麼他簽署了《莉莉?列得貝塔同工同酬法案》,以幫助女性得到同工同酬的公平權利。

這就是為什麼他為工作家庭和小型企業削減了稅負,並努力讓汽車工業重新起步。

這就是他如何將我們的經濟從崩潰的邊緣拉回並使其重新開始創造工作機會——讓人們能夠養家糊口的工作,這些好工作就在這裡,在美利堅合眾國。

至於我們的家庭健康問題,巴拉克拒絕聽從所有那些要他暫緩醫療改革,把問題留給下一任總統的人。

他不在乎這在政治上是不是一件容易的事——這不是他所受到的教育——他在乎的是:做正確的事。

他這樣做,是因為他堅信在美國,我們的祖父母們應該能夠負擔自己的醫藥費用……我們的孩子生病時必須能夠去看醫生……而且,在這個國家裡,沒有人應該因為一場意外或疾病而破產。

他還相信,女性完全有能力對自己的身體和醫療做出選擇……這就是我丈夫的立場。

關於給予我們的孩子應有的教育,巴拉克知道,就像我和你們中的許多人一樣,如果沒有助學金,他永遠也不可能完成大學學業。

而且,不管你們信不信,我們剛結婚的時候,我們的學生貸款賬單合起來比我們的房貸還要高。

我們是那麼年輕,那麼相愛,又是那樣的負債累累。

這就是為什麼巴拉克努力增加助學金,並保持低貸款利率的原因,因為他想讓每個年輕人都能達成所願,而不需要為了進入大學而背負山一樣沉重的債務。

所以歸根結底,對巴拉克來說,這些並非政治問題——而是個人問題。

因為巴拉克知道一個家庭掙扎度日意味著什麼。

他知道想要讓下一代和下下一代過上更好的生活意味著什麼。

巴拉克懂得什麼是美國夢,因為他正用一生去實踐它……而他想讓生活在這個國度裡的每一個人都擁有同樣的機會,無論我們是誰,無論我們從哪裡來,無論我們膚貌如何,無論我們愛的對象。

而且他認為,當你努力工作,獲得成功,並且跨越了那扇機遇的大門之後……你不應該砰地一聲關上身後的大門……你應該伸出援助之手,將成功的機會同樣給予後來之人。

因此,當人們問我,入主白宮是否改變了我的丈夫的時候,我可以誠實地說,無論是從他的性格,他的信念,他的心靈來看,巴拉克-奧巴馬都仍是許多年前我所愛上的那個男人。

他仍是那樣一個人,會在自己的事業起步期拒絕高薪工作,而走入一個因鋼鐵廠的倒閉而陷入困境的社區,為社區的重建和人們重獲工作而奮鬥……因為對巴拉克來說,成功並不等於你掙的錢,而是你給人們的生活帶來的改變。

他仍是那樣一個人,當我們的女兒剛出生的時候,隔不了幾分鐘就急匆匆地查看搖籃,確認她們仍在好好呼吸,並驕傲地向我們認識的每個人展示自己的寶貝女兒。

他還是那個幾乎每晚都會坐下來陪我和女兒們吃晚餐,耐心地回答她們關於新聞事件的問題,並為中學生間的友誼問題出謀劃策的人。

他還是那個,我常常看到在萬籟俱寂的深夜裡,仍趴在書桌上鑽研人們寄來的信件的人。

寫信來的有努力工作支付賬單的父親……有保險公司拒絕賠付醫療費用而命在旦夕的癌症女病人……有具有無限天賦潛力卻得不到機會的年輕人。

我能看到他眼裡的憂慮……我也能聽出他聲音中的決心,他說:“你不會相信這些人們在經歷些什麼,米歇爾……這不對。我們必須繼續工作,直到解決這些問題。我們還有更多事情要做。”

我看到人們的這些生活故事——我們所收集的這些奮鬥、希望和夢想——我看到這些都是推動巴拉克-奧巴馬每一天工作的動力。

我曾以為我不能愛他更多,然而今天,我比四年前更愛我的丈夫了……甚至比23年前我們初見的時候更愛。

我愛他從未忘記自己奮鬥的開端。

我愛他值得信任,言行一致,哪怕面臨的困難重重——或者說,特別是在困難重重的時刻。

我愛他不在主觀上劃分敵我——他才不在意你是民主黨人,共和黨人,或是別的什麼黨派……他知道我們都愛我們的國家……而他總是樂意聆聽好的建議… …他總是樂意在遇見的每個人身上發現優點。

我愛他即使在最艱難的時候,當我們都焦慮不安的時候——當我們擔心法案不被通過,而看上去已經全局皆輸了的時候——巴拉克從不讓自己被非議和噪音干擾。

就像他的祖母一樣,他只是堅持起床,繼續前進……帶著耐心和智慧,以及勇氣和風度。

他也提醒我,我們在打一場漫長的比賽……改變是艱難的,是緩慢的,它不會一夜來臨。

但最終,我們會獲得勝利,我們一向如此。

我們的勝利,來源於像我父親那樣的人們……像巴拉克的祖母那樣的人們……那些對自己說:“我也許沒有機會實現夢想,但也許我的孩子們會有……也許我的孫子孫女們會有……”的男人和女人們。

在場這麼多人今天站在這裡,是因為犧牲,渴望,以及堅定的愛……因為一次又一次,他們嚥下自己的恐懼和疑慮,去戰勝困難。

因此,今天,當我們面對的挑戰顯得鋪天蓋地——甚至無法戰勝的時候——讓我們永遠不要忘記,行不可能之事正是這個國家的歷史……這是我們美國人的根性……這是我們的立國之本。

如果我們的父母和祖父母能為我們艱苦奮鬥……如果他們能樹立起高聳入雲的鋼筋大廈,能將人類送上月球,還能輕輕一觸按鍵就連接整個世界……那麼,我們當然能繼續忘我犧牲,為我們的子女和孫輩建設世界。

如果這麼多勇敢的男人和女人能穿上祖國的軍裝,為我們最基本的權利獻出生命……那麼,我們作為這個偉大民主國家的公民,當然也能承擔我們的責任,來實踐這些權利… …我們當然能夠在選舉日拿起選票,發出自己的聲音。

如果農民和鐵匠們能從一個帝國手中贏得獨立……如果移民能放棄他們所熟知的一切,登上我們的海岸,來尋求更好的生活……如果女性們會為爭取選舉的權利鋃鐺入獄……如果一代人可以戰勝經濟衰退,賦予偉大一個永垂不朽的定義……如果一位年輕的牧師能用他正義的理想將我們引導至山頂(注1)……而且如果驕傲的美國人敢於做真正的自己,與自己的所愛之人一起站到神的面前……那麼當然,我們當然能夠為此國度中的每一個人都提供一個實現偉大的美國夢的公平機會。

因為歸根結底,最重要的是,這就是這個國家的歷史故事—— 為了植根於毫不退縮的鬥爭中的毫不動搖的夢想。

這也是造就了我的故事,巴拉克的故事,以及其他眾多美國人的故事的來源。

今天,我所說的一切,不僅是出於第一夫人的立場,也不僅是出於一個妻子的立場。

最終,你們會發現,我最重要的頭銜仍然是“老媽總司令”。

我的女兒們仍是我的心頭肉,我世界的中心。

但是今天,我四年前關於我和巴拉克是否在為女兒們做最正確的事情的疑慮已經煙消雲散。

因為今天,我的經歷告訴我,如果我真的想要為自己的女兒們,以及我們所有人的兒子和女兒們留下一個更好的世界……如果我們想要給予我們所有的孩子們實現夢想的基礎和與他們的潛力相稱的機遇……如果我們想要讓他們感覺到無限的可能性——相信在這裡,在美國,只要你願意為之努力,就一定會比現在更好……那麼,我們就必須比從前更加努力地工作……我們必須再次團結起來,支持這個值得我們信任,會推動著這個國家繼續進步的人……我的丈夫,我們的總統,巴拉克·奧巴馬總統。

感謝大家,上帝保佑你們,上帝保佑美國。

注1:《聖經》以色列人出埃及的典故,摩西帶領以色列人擺脫埃及法老的奴役,他被上帝帶到山頂上,看到了“應許之地”。馬丁路德金被暗殺之前的最後一場演講,即,名為《I\’ve been to the mountaintop》。

以下是英語原文:

Transcript: Michelle Obama\’s Convention Speech

September 4,2012

Thank you so much, Elaine…we are so grateful for your family\’s service and sacrifice…and we will always have your back.

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, in 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.

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…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…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.

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 would we keep them grounded under the glare of the national spotlight?

PBS NewsHour/YouTube

First lady Michelle Obama addresses the DNC after being introduced by military mom Elaine Brye, from PBS NewsHour.

How would they feel being uprooted from their school, their friends, and the only home they\’d ever known?

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.

And the truth is, I loved the life we​​ had built for our girls…I deeply loved the man I had built that life with…and I didn\’t want that to change if he became President.

I loved Barack just the way he was.

You see, even though back then Barack was a Senator and a presidential candidate…to me, he was still the guy who\’d picked me up for our dates in a car that was so rusted out, I could actually see the pavement going by through a hole in the passenger side door…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 half a size too small.

But when Barack started telling me about his family – that\’s when I knew I had found a kindred spirit, someone whose values​​ and upbringing were so much like mine.

You see, Barack and I were both raised by families who didn\’t have much in the way of money or material possessions but who had given us something far more valuable – their unconditional love, their unflinching sacrifice, and the chance to go places they had never imagined for themselves.

My father was a pump operator at the city water plant, and he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis when my brother and I were young.

And even as a kid, I knew there were plenty of days when he was in pain…I knew there were plenty of mornings when it was a struggle for him to simply get out of bed.

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.

And when he returned home after a long day\’s work, my brother and I would stand at the top of the stairs to our little apartment, patiently waiting to greet him…watching as he reached down to lift one leg, and then the other, to slowly climb his way into our arms.

But despite these challenges, my dad hardly ever missed a day of work…he and my mom were determined to give me and my brother the kind of education they could only dream of.

And when my brother and I finally made it to college, nearly all of our tuition came from student loans and grants.

But my dad still had to pay a tiny portion of that tuition himself.

And every semester, he was determined to pay that bill right on time, even taking out loans when he fell short.

He was so proud to be sending his kids to college…and he made sure we never missed a registration deadline because his check was late.

You see, for my dad, that\’s what it meant to be a man.

Like so many of us, that was the measure of his success in life – being able to earn a decent living that allowed him to support his family.

And as I got to know Barack, I realized that even though he\’d grown up all the way across the country, he\’d been brought up just like me.

Barack was raised by a single mother who struggled to pay the bills, and by grandparents who stepped in when she needed help.

Barack\’s grandmother started out as a secretary at a community bank…and she moved quickly up the ranks…but like so many women, she hit a glass ceiling.

And for years, men no more qualified than she was – men she had actually trained – were promoted up the ladder ahead of her, earning more and more money while Barack\’s family continued to scrape by.

But day after day, she kept on waking up at dawn to catch the bus…arriving at work before anyone else…giving her best without complaint or regret.

And she would often tell Barack, “So long as you kids do well, Bar, that\’s all that really matters.”

Like so many American families, our families weren\’t asking for much.

They didn\’t begrudge anyone else\’s success or care that others had m​​uch more than they did…in fact, they admired it.

They simply believed in that fundamental American promise that, even if you don\’t start out with much, if you work hard and do what you\’re supposed to do, then you should be able to build a decent life for yourself and an even better life for your kids and grandkids.

That\’s how they raised us…that\’s what we learned from their example.

We learned about dignity and decency – that how hard you work matters more than how much you make…that helping others means more than just getting ahead yourself.

We learned about honesty and integrity – that the truth matters…that you don\’t take shortcuts or play by your own set of rules…and success doesn\’t count unless you earn it fair and square.

We learned about gratitude and humility – that so many people had a hand in our success, from the teachers who inspired us to the janitors who kept our school clean…and we were taught to value everyone\’s contribution and treat everyone with respect.

Those are the values​​ Barack and I – and so many of you – are trying to pass on to our own children.

That\’s who we are.

And standing before you four years ago, I knew that I didn\’t want any of that to change if Barack became President.

Well, today, after so many struggles and triumphs and moments that have tested my husband in ways I never could have imagined, I have seen firsthand that being president doesn\’t change who you are – it reveals who you are.

You see, I\’ve gotten to see up close and personal what being president really looks like.

And I\’ve seen how the issues that come across a President\’s desk are always the hard ones – the problems where no amount of data or numbers will get you to the right answer…the judgment calls where the stakes are so high, and there is no margin for error.

And as President, you can get all kinds of advice from all kinds of people.

But at the end of the day, when it comes time to make that decision, as President, all you have to guide you are your values​​, and your vision, and the life experiences that make you who you are.

So when it comes to rebuilding our economy, Barack is thinking about folks like my dad and like his grandmother.

He\’s thinking about the pride that comes from a hard day\’s work.

That\’s why he signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to help women get equal pay for equal work.

That\’s why he cut taxes for working families and small businesses and fought to get the auto industry back on its feet.

That\’s how he brought our economy from the brink of collapse to creating jobs again – jobs you can raise a family on, good jobs right here in the United States of America.

When it comes to the health of our families, Barack refused to listen to all those folks who told him to leave health reform for another day, another president.

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.

He did it because he believes that here in America, our grandparents should be able to afford their medicine…our kids should be able to see a doctor when they\’re sick…and no one in this country should ever go broke because of an accident or illness.

And he believes that women are more than capable of making our own choices about our bodies and our health care…that\’s what my husband stands for.

When it comes to giving our kids the education they deserve, Barack knows that like me and like so many of you, he never could\’ve attended college without financial aid.

And believe it or not, when we were first married, our combined monthly student loan bills were actually higher than our mortgage.

We were so young, so in love, and so in debt.

That\’s why Barack has fought so hard to increase student aid and keep interest rates down, because he wants every young person to fulfill their promise and be able to attend college without a mountain of debt.

So in the end, for Barack, these issues aren\’t political – they\’re personal.

Because Barack knows what it means when a family struggles.

He knows what it means to want something more for your kids and grandkids.

Barack knows the American Dream because he\’s lived it…and he wants everyone in this country to have that same opportunity, no matter who we are, or where we\’re from, or what we look like, or who we love.

And he believes that when you\’ve worked hard, and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity…you do not slam it shut behind you…you reach back, and you give other folks the same chances that helped you succeed.

So when people ask me whether being in the White House has changed my husband, I can honestly say that when it comes to his character, and his convictions, and his heart, Barack Obama is still the same man I fell in love with all those years ago.

He\’s the same man who started his career by turning down high paying jobs and instead working in struggling neighborhoods where a steel plant had shut down, fighting to rebuild those communities and get folks back to work…because for Barack, success isn\’t about how much money you make, it\’s about the difference you make in people\’s lives.

He\’s the same man who, when our girls were first born, would anxiously check their cribs every few minutes to ensure they were still breathing, proudly showing them off to everyone we knew.

That\’s the man who sits down with me and our girls for dinner nearly every night, patiently answering their questions about issues in the news, and strategizing about middle school friendships.

That\’s the man I see in those quiet moments late at night, hunched over his desk, poring over the letters people have sent him.

The letter from the father struggling to pay his bills…from the woman dying of cancer whose insurance company won\’t cover her care…from the young person with so much promise but so few opportunities.

I see the concern in his eyes…and I hear the determination in his voice as he tells me, “You won\’t believe what these folks are going through, Michelle…it\’s not right. We\ ‘ve got to keep working to fix this. We\’ve got so much more to do.”

I see how those stories – our collection of struggles and hopes and dreams – I see how that\’s what drives Barack Obama every single day.

And I didn\’t think it was possible, but today, I love my husband even more than I did four years ago…even more than I did 23 years ago, when we first met.

I love that he\’s never forgotten how he started.

I love that we can trust Barack to do what he says he\’s going to do, even when it\’s hard – especially when it\’s hard.

I love that for Barack, there is no such thing as “us” and “them” – he doesn\’t care whether you\’re a Democrat, a Republican, or none of the above…he knows that we all love our country…and he\’s always ready to listen to good ideas…he\’s always looking for the very best in everyone he meets.

And I love that even in the toughest moments, when we\’re all sweating it – when we\’re worried that the bill won\’t pass, and it seems like all is lost – Barack never lets himself get distracted by the chatter and the noise.

Just like his grandmother, he just keeps getting up and moving forward…with patience and wisdom, and courage and grace.

And he reminds me that we are playing a long game here…and that change is hard, and change is slow, and it never happens all at once.

But eventually we get there, we always do.

We get there because of folks like my Dad…folks like Barack\’s grandmother…men and women who said to themselves, “I may not have a chance to fulfill my dreams, but maybe my children will… maybe my grandchildren will.”

So many of us stand here tonight because of their sacrifice, and longing, and steadfast love…because time and again, they swallowed their fears and doubts and did what was hard.

So today, when the challenges we face start to seem overwhelming – or even impossible – let us never forget that doing the impossible is the history of this nation…it\’s who we are as Americans…it\’s how this country was built.

And if our parents and grandparents could toil and struggle for us…if they could raise beams of steel to the sky, send a man to the moon, and connect the world with the touch of a button…then surely we can keep on sacrificing and building for our own kids and grandkids.

And if so many brave men and women could wear our country\’s uniform and sacrifice their lives for our most fundamental rights…then surely we can do our part as citizens of this great democracy to exercise those rights…surely, we can get to the polls and make our voices heard on Election Day.

If farmers and blacksmiths could win independence from an empire…if immigrants could leave behind everything they knew for a better life on our shores…if women could be dragged to jail for seeking the vote…if a generation could defeat a depression, and define greatness for all time…if a young preacher could lift us to the mountaintop with his righteous dream…and if proud Americans can be who they are and boldly stand at the altar with who they love.. .then surely, surely we can give everyone in this country a fair chance at that great American Dream.

Because in the end, more than anything else, that is the story of this country – the story of unwavering hope grounded in unyielding struggle.

That is what has made my story, and Barack\’s story, and so many other American stories possible.

And I say all of this tonight not just as First Lady…and not just as a wife.

You see, at the end of the day, my most important title is still “mom-in-chief.”

My daughters are still the heart of my heart and the center of my world.

But today, I have none of those worries from four years ago about whether Barack and I were doing what\’s best for our girls.

Because today, I know from experience that if I truly want to leave a better world for my daughters, and all our sons and daughters…if we want to give all our children a foundation for their dreams and opportunities worthy of their promise. ..if we want to give them that sense of limitless possibility – that belief that here in America, there is always something better out there if you\’re willing to work for it…then we must work like never before.. .and we must once again come together and stand together for the man we can trust to keep moving this great country forward…my husband, our President, President Barack Obama.

Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.