- To Mom, Dad, Craig and all of my special friends: Thank-you for loving me and always making me feel good about myself.
- Dedication, Senior thesis, Princeton University (1985)
- My experiences at Princeton have made me far more aware of my 'blackness' than ever before. I have found that at Princeton, no matter how liberal and open-minded some of my white professors and classmates try to be toward me, I sometimes feel like a visitor on campus; as if I really don't belong. Regardless of the circumstances under which I interact with whites at Princeton, it often seems as if, to them, I will always be black first and a student second.
- Senior thesis, Princeton University (1985), quoted in "Michelle Obama thesis was on racial divide" by Jeffrey Ressner at Politico.com (23 February 2008)
- One of the things — the important aspects of this race — is role modeling what good families should look like. Our view was that, if you can't run your own house, you certainly can't run the White House.
- I am desperate for change — now — not in 8 years or 12 years, but right now. We don’t have time to wait. We need big change — not just the shifting of power among insiders. We need to change the game, because the game is broken. When I think about the country I want to give my children, it’s not the world we have now. All I have to do is look into the faces of my children, and I realize how much work we need to do.
- Campaign speech, quoted in "First Lady in Waiting" by Leslie Bennetts in Vanity Fair Web exclusive (27 December 2007)
- Barack is one of the smartest men we will see in our lifetime.
- Campaign rally, Las Vegas, Nevada (17 January 2008)
- You can't handle goody bags. Let me explain the goody bag thing. You have to go into the party store and choose the bags. Then you have to choose what to put in the bags, and what is in the boys' bags has to be different from what is in the girls' bags. You'd walk in there and wander around the aisles for an hour, and then your head would explode.
- We need to fix our souls. Our souls are broken in this nation. We have lost our way. And it begins with inspiration. It begins with leadership.
- Campaign rally, Los Angeles, California (3 February 2008)
- Let me tell you something. For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country, because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback.
- Campaign rally, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (18 February 2008) In another version (on the same video), she inserted the word 'really' before proud.
- What we've learned over this year is that hope is making a comeback. It is making a comeback. And let me tell you something — for the first time in my adult lifetime, I'm really proud of my country. And not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change. And I have been desperate to see our country moving in that direction and just not feeling so alone in my frustration and disappointment. I've seen people who are hungry to be unified around some basic common issues, and it's made me proud.
- Campaign rally, Madison, Wisconsin, CSPAN: Campaign 2008 (18 February 2008)
- If my future were determined just by my performance on a standardized test, I wouldn't be here. I guarantee you that.
- He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your divisions. That you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zones. That you push yourselves to be better. And that you engage. Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed.
- Campaign rally at UCLA, quoted in "It’s All About Him" by William Kristol in The New York Times (25 February 2008)
- Translating hope into action is something Barack has done for his entire career.
- Ich höre, er ist ein eindrucksvoller Typ. Ein großartiger Redner. Ein Juraprofessor. Ein Bestsellerautor. Und ein Grammy-Gewinner. Bewundernswert! Doch wie bringe ich das in Einklang mit dem Typen, der bei mir zu Hause lebt? - about her husband Barack Obama, www.focus.de, (26 May 2008)
- And then there’s this guy, Barack Obama, who lost – I could take up a whole afternoon talking about his failures, but – he lost his first race for Congress, and now he gets to call himself my husband,
- , CNSNews, May 20, 2013.
To Live Beyond Our Fear (2007)
- Speech introducing her husband at a campaign rally in Des Moines, Iowa (16 August 2007) - YouTube Video
- Barack and I talked long and hard about this decision. You know, this wasn’t an easy decision for us, because we’ve got two beautiful little girls, and we have a wonderful life, and everything was going fine. And there was nothing that would have been more disruptive than a decision to run for President of the United States.
And as more people talk to us about it, I mean the question came up again and again. What people were most concerned about: they were afraid. It was fear. Fear, again, raising its ugly head, in one of the most important decisions we would make. Fear; fear of everything. Fear that we might lose. Fear that he might get hurt. Fear that this would be ugly. Fear that it would hurt our family. Fear.
But you know, the reason why I said yes was because I was tired of being afraid. I am tired of living in a country where every decision that we’ve made over the last ten years wasn’t for something, but it was because people told us we had to fear something. We had to fear people who looked different from us. Fear people who believed in things that were different from us. Fear of one another right here in our own backyards.
I am so tired of fear. And I don’t want my girls to live in a country, in a world, based on fear.
- The thing that I want you all to remember: please, please, don’t base your vote, this time, on fear. Base it on possibility. Think. Listen. The game of politics is to make you afraid so that you don’t think. And what we need right now isn’t political rhetoric, it isn’t game-playing. We need leadership; we need people with judgment; we need decent people, people with common sense, people with strong family values. People who understand the world.
- We have this window of opportunity; we have a chance to make something real happen. Something possible happen, to live beyond our fear — think about that, and help us. Help lift us up, help us fight this fight to change — transform — this country in a fundamental way.
This chance won’t come around again.
Quotes about Obama
- Occasionally, it gives campaign people heartburn. ... She’s fundamentally honest — goes out there, speaks her mind, jokes. She doesn’t parse her words or select them with an antenna for political correctness.
- Obama begins with a broad assessment of life in America in 2008, and life is not good: we’re a divided country, we’re a country that is “just downright mean,” we are “guided by fear,” we’re a nation of cynics, sloths, and complacents. “We have become a nation of struggling folks who are barely making it every day,” she said, as heads bobbed in the pews. “Folks are just jammed up, and it’s gotten worse over my lifetime. And, doggone it, I’m young. Forty-four!”