***UPDATE: SEE BELOW FOR NEW SPEECH EXCERPTS***
When Michelle Obama takes to the podium this evening at the Pepsi Center in Denver, she'll be delivering a speech that she spent nearly a month constructing with her staff. According to a campaign source, Michelle was "integrally" involved not only in choosing the anecdotes from her own history with the presumptive Democratic nominee, but was deeply engaged at the line-edit level.
"The speech really is her creation," the source told the Huffington Post, adding that Michelle started working on a first draft before the family's Hawaii trip, because "she's not a politician, she's a a mom." Of course, it's not surprising that a campaign source would seek to give Michelle Obama the lion's share of credit for words she's set to deliver. But in this instance, the source repeatedly hit that note -- and said that even after the circle working on the speech widened, staff members quickly came to learn that Michelle "really is a good writer."
In a preview of the speech emailed out to reporters Monday afternoon, the Obama campaign said Michelle will talk about "building a family grounded in faith and values," as well as her upbringing on the South Side of Chicago.
"Her story is a great American story: modest means but big dreams -- and encouragement from loving parents that she and her brother could accomplish whatever they put their minds to if they worked hard," the memo read. "Like Barack, Michelle was also taught to give back to the community and the country that has given her so much. Now, as a working mother of two young girls, Michelle is continuing to give back to the community and country she loves. Like many moms, she's learned to juggle the responsibilities of work and family."
Did Barack Obama have any input on the remarks? The campaign source declined any knowledge of the Senator's involvement, though she's "sure he's seen it, since they're such good partners." But in the end, the source said, "it was her decision."
Excerpts from Michelle Obama's speech are below:
"But each of us also comes here tonight by way of our own improbable journey. I come here tonight as a sister, blessed with a brother who is my mentor, my protector and my lifelong friend. I come here as a wife who loves my husband and believes he will be an extraordinary president. I come here as a Mom whose girls are the heart of my heart and the center of my world - they're the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning, and the last thing I think about when I go to bed at night. Their future - and all our children's future - is my stake in this election.
And 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."
"And Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values: that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say you're going to do; that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don't know them, and even if you don't agree with them.
And Barack and I set out to build lives guided by these values, and pass them on to the next generation. Because we want our children - and all children in this nation - to know that the only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them."
"And in the end, after all that's happened these past 19 months, the Barack Obama I know today is the same man I fell in love with 19 years ago. He's the same man who drove me and our new baby daughter home from the hospital ten years ago this summer, inching along at a snail's pace, peering anxiously at us in the rearview mirror, feeling the whole weight of her future in his hands, determined to give her everything he'd struggled so hard for himself, determined to give her what he never had: the affirming embrace of a father's love."