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Michelle Obama Reflects on the Campaign and Convention

Michelle Obama sits down with Judy Woodruff to discuss her speech on Monday night in Denver as well as the last year and a half of campaigning with her husband, Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama.

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  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Mrs. Obama, thank you very much for talking with us. The reviews of your convention speech last night are in, mostly positive, some glowing. How do you think you did?

    MICHELLE OBAMA, Wife of Sen. Barack Obama: You know, I think it was a solid speech. We spent a lot of time preparing. But what's interesting is that that speech was really just a more polished version of what I've done on the stump for the last 19 months.

    I mean, I really spent this time trying to introduce a broader perspective of who Barack is by introducing people to our family and by telling stories and to sharing our life. So it was an expanded version of that, but that's pretty much what I've been doing for the last year-and-a-half.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Now, with the polls tightening, your husband's lead that had been there slipping a bit, now, this — your speech last night was interpreted by many as mainly an effort to re-introduce your husband to the American people, to say, "This is somebody who's a loyal American, a good father, somebody who can identify with regular people."

    Why is it necessary at this point in the campaign to re-introduce?

  • MICHELLE OBAMA:

    Well, I don't know if I'd call it re-introducing. As I've said, you know, what I said last night was not very different from what I've been saying. I've been introducing Barack for the entire year.

    I think this is a bigger stage. Now that he's the nominee, now that we've gotten past the Olympics and we're heading into the fall, the focus of the nation is on this election.

    And that's what these conventions are for, really, because I believe there were 22 million viewers watching last night. And some of those are people who have only read about Barack in the papers and, you know, maybe have heard something on a television show.

    But this was a good chance to say, "This is who we are. This is our story."

    And I wouldn't call it a re-introduction. I would call it the beginning of what will be a very close and competitive general election.