Thursday, October 09, 2008

Michelle Obama Talks About Sarah Palin and Other Women

This is not a story but part of an interview of Michelle Obama by Larry King (8 October 2008).

It is posted here not to put one candidate against another but to give an example of how to disagree while maintaining respect with someone who has gone onto the attack and how to react when tough things are said about you and/or your loved one.

KING: We're back with Michelle Obama. Sarah Palin has been taking the role kind of attack dog in recent days. Here's an example. And we'll get a comment.


GOV. SARAH PALIN (R-AL), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Our opponent is someone who sees America as imperfect enough to pal around with terrorists who targeted their own country.


KING: That don't get you any mad?

M. OBAMA: You know, fortunately, I don't watch it.

KING: Oh, well now you've seen it.

M. OBAMA: I've seen it.

KING: All right. She said that your husband pals around with terrorists. And she's referring to William Ayers, I guess.

Do you know William Ayers?

M. OBAMA: Yes, yes, yes. Barack served on the board of the Annenberg Challenge with Bill Ayers and –

KING: That was started by the Annenberg family, right?

M. OBAMA: Absolutely. And Mrs. Annenberg, in fact, endorsed John McCain. So, I don't know anyone in Chicago who's heavily involved in education policy who doesn't know Bill Ayers.

But, you know, again, I go back to the point that you know, the American people aren't asking these questions.

KING: You don't think it affects the campaign?

M. OBAMA: You know, I think that we've been in this for 20 months and people have gotten to know Barack. He's written books. Books have been written about him. He, like all of the other candidates have been thoroughly vetted. And I think people know Barack Obama.

They know his heart, they know his spirit. And the thing that I just encourage people is to judge Barack and judge all of these candidates based on what they do, their actions, their character, what they do in their lives. Rather than what somebody did when they were eight, or six years old.

KING: When someone calls, and says, he's running for vice president, that your husband associates with terrorism, that upsets you, I would think.

M. OBAMA: You know, that's part of politics. But –

KING: It doesn't -- it goes right off of you?

M. OBAMA: You know, these issues have come up before. But, the one thing that I'm proud about with Barack is that one of the things he's been talking about is our tone.

And it's the notion that he says, we can disagree without being disagreeable. And that's, you know, where he's trying to get to in this campaign. The notion that we can disagree on some fundamental issues in this country. But, we have to do it without demonizing one another, without labeling one another.

Because we're in some tough times now. And what we can see from the fall of this economy is that when we fall, we all fall. And when we rise, we all rise. And whether we're Republicans or Democrats or Independents, or black or white or straight or gay, that we're in this together. And that there are times that we will disagree, that we won't share the same policies. But, we're going to rise and fall together. And that's the tone that I like. And I think that's where Americans want their elected officials to be.

KING: So you bear her no umbrage?

M. OBAMA: Not at all. Not at all.

I mean, that's not where we need to be right now. I mean, we need to be at a point where we're figuring out how to work together. Again, whether we agree or disagree –

KING: What do you make –

M. OBAMA: -- so that we can move things forward –

KING: What do you make of her running for a vice president and having many kids and being a good parent and bouncing all the balls?

M. OBAMA: You know, I think she provides an excellent of example of all the different roles that women can and should play.

You know, I'm a mother with kids and I've had a career and I've had to juggle. She's doing publicly, what so many women are doing on their own privately. What we're fighting for is to make sure that all women have the choices that Sarah Palin and I have. To make these decision and do it without hurting their families. And we're in a position now, as I go across the country and I've had conversations with working women and many find that they have to do the juggling. But, they're doing it without the support.

They're living in communities where jobs have dried up. So, their family members have had to move away so they can't rely on mothers and all those informal support structures. They don't have access to decent child care. They're worrying about health care. So what Sarah Palin and I have that all women deserve is the choice and the resources to make their choices work. And I think that's what we need to fight for.

KING: And the Senator shares that view?

M. OBAMA: Absolutely. I mean, he's seen -- you know, Barack's grown up with strong women. He's seen me. He grew up in a household where his grandmother was the primary breadwinner. Saw her juggling to support the entire family. Saw her working her way up from being a secretary at a bank, to being a senior official. His mother was a single parent, saw her struggle in many ways

He's seen the struggles of women and knows that there's an inequity there. That we're still in this country dealing with pay equity issues for women. Women still earn $0.79 to the dollar, compared to men for the same job. And that's where we have to move from, you know? We have to move out of that inequity and give women the salaries that they need so that in the event that they have to make the choice, or want to make the choice to work, that they're able to support their family like I can, like Sarah Palin can.

KING: The extraordinary Michelle Obama. We'll be back in 60 seconds.

To read the full transcript that is rich in insight follow this link:

Michelle Obama Asked about Bill Ayers by CNN’s Larry King, Lynn Sweet, Chicago Sun Times, 8 October 2008.

To watch a clip of this interview on video follow this link or see these clips from CNN Video.

Not Offended by ‘That One’ Comment, CNN
Michelle on Ayers Comment by Palin, CNN
Michelle Obama on Hilary Clinton, CNN

Image: Michelle Obama on Larry King Live, 8 October 2008.