Michelle Obama

Last night, Iain and I caught a bit of Michelle Obama's interview with Larry King. As you'd expect, she was smart, witty, interesting, personable; Iain, who hadn't previously seen a lot of footage of her, said, "She is such an asset tae Barack. He's looky tae have her."

One of the things I found particularly compelling was when King asked her about Hillary Clinton. He was clearly leading her to say that Clinton wasn't doing enough to support Sen. Obama, which was, of course, a constant media meme until the economy took a nosedive—and there had been some speculation, including in comments threads here, that M. Obama doesn't like Clinton. But watching this segment, that didn't come across to me at all. She seems genuinely impressed by and grateful for Clinton's support and sounds like she is quite fond of her—like they are quite fond of each other.

[Transcript below.]

If there was any actual ill will toward Clinton during the primary when they were opponents, it sure seems to be gone now, and I've always respected people who can be gracious in defeat and in victory—the latter of which can be strangely more troublesome for lots of people. Evidently, not Michelle Obama, though. I like that about her.

I like a lot of stuff about her. Watching her last night, I thought I'd really love to see her as our president.

No offense, Barack.

Obama: This has been an amazing year throughout—and I think my 10-year-old daughter summed it up best: The night that Barack clinched the nomination, and I came home, woke up in the morning, and I sort of explained that Daddy had, you know, actually won the nomination, and I said, "Don't you think this is amazing?" You know, I said, "This is the first time an African-American will have been a nominee." And Malia said, "Well, yeah." You know, "I realize what a big deal it is," she said, "but it would have been a big deal if Hillary Clinton had won, too." She said it without blinking an eye. She said, "Because women didn't have the right to vote, and there was inequality there." It was matter-of-fact; it's like, that's where we've come, where 10-year-olds and 7-year-olds understand that this is big, but they know this is the next step. You know, this is where we've grown as a country, and I think it's beautiful to watch our young people being able to see these changes in action, because they're going to grow up with a different reality than any of us.

King: Speaking of Hillary—

Obama: Mm-hmm.

King: —are you happy with the way she's supporting your husband?

Obama: She has been phenomenal. From the minute after this was done, right, she has always been just cordial and open—I've called her, I've talked to her, she's given me advice about the kids, we've talked at length about this kind of stuff, how you feel, how you react; she has been amazing. She is a real pro and a woman with character and—

King: And will she campaign for you all the way?

Obama: She's been campaigning. She's on the road. I don't know her schedule completely, but she's been raising money for the campaign, she's been working on her donors, she's been in swing states—she and Bill Clinton have been working hard to make sure that Barack is the next president of the United States.

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