As she prepared for her big speech on the opening night of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, first lady Michelle Obama reflected on her husband’s major accomplishments.
“We as women should be able to make our own choices,” Mrs. Obama said, touting health care reform as among the most important things President Barack Obama has done, in her words, for American women.
“Yes, including on contraception,” she said, adding that because of health reform, “insurance companies can no longer charge us more just because we’re women.”
She also cited the Lilly Ledbetter “equal pay for equal” work law, which was the first thing signed by the president when he took office in 2009, saying that because women are increasingly their family’s breadwinners, “women’s success equals family success.” And she emphasized the Obama administration’s push toward “investing in good schools, and making college affordable.”
The remarks came during a conference call with female reporters from outlets around the country, including theGrio. The Obama campaign is seeking to exploit a gender gap with Republican candidate Mitt Romney that is 10 points or greater in some polls. Obama needs a strong showing by women voters to women in November, and Mrs. Obama focused on themes that seemed designed to particularly appeal to mothers and suburban women.
The first lady also made a forceful case for her husband’s re-election, saying that “while we’ve come a long way in Barack’s first term, it’s critical that we keep moving forward.”
Mrs. Obama, who said she joins women around the country in focusing on her children’s first day of school, emphasized the need to protect healthcare reform from a Republican president and congress, because it and other measures would matter to those children now and throughout their lives.