Michelle Obama was the keynote speaker this morning at the White House reception honoring Lilly Ledbetter and the Fair Pay Act, which was signed into law today by the president. The event was a natural fit for the first lady, who, after making some supposedly controversial remarks on the campaign trail last February, has largely limited her public statements to a few issues of special concern to women and military families. According to the New York Times' Rachel Swarns, who prepared the White House press pool report of the reception, Mrs. Obama, "wearing a purple suit, white pearls and purple pumps," made the following comments:
This legislation is an important step forward, particularly at a time when so many families are facing economic insecurity and instability. It's also one cornerstone of a broader commitment to address the needs of working women who are looking to us, to not only ensure that they're treated fairly, but also to ensure that there are policies in place that help women and men balance their work and family obligations without putting their jobs or their economic security at risk.
It's great to see Michelle speaking about policy again, after all the retrograde, pre-inauguration obsession over her clothes and where the girls would attend school. But just for memory's sake, I thought I'd post one of my favorite Michelle Obama speeches, which she made in Iowa in August 2007. She seems so free in this speech, looking sleek and strong all in black with her hair pulled back. And while she's completely comfortable here portraying herself as Barack Obama's wife — and sharing her pain at having their life disrupted by the campaign — she's also passionately anti-war. I miss this Michelle:
cross-posted at TAPPED