Michelle Obama says she wasn't offended by John McCain calling her husband "that one" during Tuesday night's debate and isn't angry at Sarah Palin for her attacks on Barack Obama.
Asked on CNN's "Larry King Live" tonight about McCain's remark, Michelle Obama replied, "In these debates, I am so focused on what Barack is saying, you know, and how he is phrasing his words. And I'm really trying to listen to the substance of what he is saying to make sure that I understand what it going on. That these little, you know, sound bites don't register with me. A lot of times I'm looking around at the faces of the undecided voters in the room, I'm trying to see how they're reacting. So there is so much going on in a room that a phrase here or there just doesn't -- you know, it just doesn't resonate."
Asked about criticisms by the Republican vice presidential candidate over Barack Obama's ties to William Ayers, who helped start a radical group that bombed government buildings during the early 1970s, Obama replied, "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."
Indeed, Michelle Obama had kind words for Palin, a fellow working mother.
"You know, I think she provides an excellent of example of all the different roles that women can and should play," she said. "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," she added. "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."
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.