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Obama Values: Hard Work, Honesty, Gratitude, Humility, Respect

Speaking of well-chosen words, check out how Michelle Obama turns a positive biographical sketch of herself and her husband, the leader of the free world, into a powerful rebuttal of the GOP squawking points:

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 much more than they 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 &ndash 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 &ndash 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 &ndash 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 &ndash and so many of you &ndash are trying to pass on to our own children.

That's who we are [Michelle Obama, speech to Democratic National Convention, Charlotte, North Carolina, September 4, 2012].

The First Lady of the United States of America then proceeds to pound the living crap out of Mitt Romney and the Republican platform by tying those values perfectly to a proud policy reveille:

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 &ndash 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 &ndash that's not how he was raised &ndash 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 [Michelle Obama, September 4, 2012].

Whatever 21st-century-average bounce Mitt Romney got last week just disappeared.


  1. Jana 2012.09.04

    Another great quote of the week:

    “The demographics race we’re losing badly. We’re not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term.” - Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

    When the venerable Senator Graham defines his party as 'angry white guys'...who could not want to be a part of that.

    Oh yeah there is the Tea Party...what? They didn't even get mentioned at the GOP convention. Maybe the Paulites? Oops...When asked about his campaign “Well, it's not my party,” Rep. Paul responded.

    The GOP did have 46 African-Americans at their convention. Haven't heard about Latinos...that weren't speakers anyway.

  2. larry kurtz 2012.09.05

    Mitt Romney has morality upside down. He wants to deregulate Wall Street and regulate women. RT @RBReich.

  3. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.09.05

    And how many Americans does Chrysler employ?

  4. Taunia 2012.09.05

    Romney, "let Detroit go bankrupt." 2008, New York Times.

    "Back" is an understatement.

  5. Jana 2012.09.05

    ...honesty and integrity – that the truth matters.

    It obviously doesn't mean much to the GOP and PP. He's shilling the new ad put out by shadowy super pac, American Futures Fund, that is built on the lie that Paul Ryan was caught, not the pathological lie of how fast he's run a marathon. No this was on the GM plant in Janesville, WI.

    One wonders why even when caught in a lie that the GOP chooses to double down on that lie.

    There might be an answer in this scientific study:

    Romney, Ryan, Thune and Noem have all shown this week that Michelle's words "honesty and integrity – that the truth matters," don't mean much to them. And they are counting on the loyal base to abandon those values as well.

  6. larry kurtz 2012.09.05

    Michelle: best dressed. Queen Anne: best dressage horse.

  7. larry kurtz 2012.09.05

    Tax evasion is illegal: tax avoidance merely immoral.

  8. Justin 2012.09.05

    How is past drug use a sign of affirmative action?

    I'm white and I smoked pot throughout college and still managed to graduate in the top 5% of my class at an ivy league school. Is that affirmative action?

    Occidental is a respected private school and people transfer into the ivies all the time usually because they didn't get in originally and really wanted to attend.

    If you want to talk unfair, W did not deserve to go to Yale, he just got in as a politically connected legacy. The same force that Romney has patterned his life on, "opportunity" given to you by your parents.

  9. Justin 2012.09.05

    Actually tax avoidance is illegal too.

    "Minimizing your tax liability", however is not illegal if done witbin the spirit of the law.

  10. Eve Fisher 2012.09.05

    I never realized that anybody who ever did drugs in high school could not then pull it together and go on to college, a career, and a profession. If that's the case, then 90% of the college graduates - of any race - of the last four decades didn't and couldn't succeed on any of their own merits.

  11. Eve Fisher 2012.09.05

    By the way, well said, Jana.

  12. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.09.06

    [Whoa: "Moochelle"? dress sizes? Foul! Those comments are out.]

  13. Justin 2012.09.06

    Thank you.

  14. Justin 2012.09.06

    I think you should speak your mind if you can reach back there and find it. You are a perfect specimen of Republican ideology.

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