07/21/2008 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Michelle Obama Goes After the Hillary Vote, Reaching out to Women

Michelle Obama spoke out Thursday on women's rights in a live webcast speech featured on the homepage of the Kansas City Star newspaper. The wife of Democratic candidate Barack Obama could prove to be an asset in her husband's effort to capture supporters of former competitor Hillary Clinton, many of them women inspired by Clinton's achievements.

Mrs. Obama acknowledged challenges to women's empowerment -- that 22 million working women don't have a single paid sick day, though most are primary breadwinners.

She then promised that Barack Obama would fight for seven paid sick days per year for all employees, and make sure that in Washington "we don't just talk a good game about family values but we actually develop policies."

Mrs. Obama's humor came through as she acknowledged her "famous Michelle Obama honesty" that "gets her in trouble from time to time."

She also quipped that she initially urged Barack Obama not to run for president, saying, "I thought politics was mean, rough business...not sure I feel any differently today."

Appealing to the many women in the crowd, Michelle Obama said that her resistance was due to concern for her daughters, saying "the last thing I wanted for my girls was to have their lives turned upside down."

Adding that "it broke my heart just to think about it," Michelle said she changed her mind when she decided "to take off my "ME" hat and put on my "CITIZEN" hat" and "started thinking more broadly about the world" she wanted to raise her daughters in."

Michelle Obama shows rare talent for public speaking, appearing at ease, confident and genuine in public.

She ended by asserting that she realized that "if that's the kind of word that I wanted for my girls, i had no choice but to work hard to make sure that a man like Barack Obama would be the next president of the United States."

This story was originally published on citizen journalism outlet

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