One of the unique features of this campaign has been “fact checking” by supposedly neutral mainstream media and other “fact checkers.”
Unfortunately, amidst the media euphoria surrounding First Lady Michelle Obama’s convention speech, I haven’t really seen much in the way of fact inspection regarding her remarks.
So White House Dossier has run its own fact check on the speech.
And what do you know? While the first lady sounded and looked very sincere, some of her comments and insinuations actually had a questionable basis in fact.
Below are several of statements she made, followed by “the facts.”
MICHELLE : So today, when the challenges we face start to seem overwhelming — or even impossible — let us never forget that doing the impossible is the history of this nation. It is who we are as Americans. It is how this country was built.
Michelle in February 2008: “For the first time in my adult lifetime, I’m really proud of my country.”
MICHELLE: Like so many American families, our families weren’t asking for much. They didn’t begrudge anyone else’s success or care that others had much more than they did — in fact, they admired it . . . we learned from their example.
President Obama in October 2008: “I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”
MICHELLE: And he believes that when you’ve worked hard, and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you. No, you reach back, and you give other folks the same chances that helped you succeed.
Average Obama charitable giving from 2000 to 2004, when the Obamas were making $200,000+ annually but before his presidential ambitions had cemented: About one percent of income.
MICHELLE: I love that for Barack, there is no such thing as “us” and “them” — he doesn’t care whether you’re a Democrat, a Republican, or none of the above; he knows that we all love our country.
President Obama, October 25, 2010: “If Latinos sit out the election instead of saying, ‘We’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us,’ if they don’t see that kind of upsurge in voting in this election, then I think it’s gonna be harder and that’s why I think it’s so important that people focus on voting on November 2.”
MICHELLE: And I’ve seen how the issues that come across a President’s desk are always the hard ones — the problems where no amount of data or numbers will get you to the right answer; the judgment calls where the stakes are so high, and there is no margin for error.
President Obama in this month’s Vanity Fair: “Any given decision you make you’ll wind up with a 30 to 40 percent chance that it isn’t going to work.”
MICHELLE: When it comes to giving our kids the education they deserve, Barack knows that, like me and like so many of you, he never could have attended college without financial aid.
Unlikely. He may not have been able to attend the college he wanted, but with some work by him on the side and some modest saving during his childhood by his relatives, he surely could have gone to some type of public college or university.
MICHELLE: He’s the same man who started his career by turning down high-paying jobs and instead working in struggling neighborhoods where a steel plant had shut down, fighting to rebuild those communities and get folks back to work.
This is not technically correct. Obama started his career after college working for Business International Corp. in New York. Later, he went to law school and became a community organizer in Chicago.