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2012 Democratic National Convention: Remarks as Prepared for Delivery by Craig Robinson and Maya Soetoro-ng, Brother of Mrs. Obama and Sister of President Obama

The following is a transcript of a speech, as prepared for delivery, by Craig Robinson and Maya Soetoro-ng, Brother of Mrs. Obama and Sister of President Obama, at the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, September 4, 2012.

Maya: Greetings and aloha from the great state of Hawaii! I'm Maya Soetoro-ng, an educator, mother of two and proud to be Barack Obama's little sister.

Craig: I'm Craig Robinson, Michelle Obama's big brother, father of four and head coach of Oregon State University's men's basketball team. Any seven-footers out there, gimme a call!

Maya: Craig and I come from different states, we've had different upbringings and, as you can see, we have different perspectives on things.

Craig: But no matter how different we may seem, we share a set of values our parents gave us—values the same in Chicago as they are in Honolulu: a willingness to work hard, a commitment to education and the responsibility to look out for each other. They're the values at the core of how Barack and Michelle have lived their lives, raised our nieces and led this country as president and first lady of the United States.

Maya: Four years ago at this convention, I spoke with you all about how Barack and I didn't grow up with much in the way of wealth. But we were blessed with a mother who taught us that education is the surest path from limited means to limitless opportunity. She inspired me to become a teacher. And she inspired Barack's deep commitment to giving all our young people the opportunities our education gave us.

He's made sure more of our youngest children have the stable foundation that Head Start provides. He's saved the jobs of teachers in our schools. And he's helped more of our students afford a higher education.

Our mother also taught us that everyone has worth, regardless of who they are or what they believe. That's what inspired Barack's vision for a more inclusive and compassionate America, where everyone has a part to play in our shared story.

He's worked to guarantee women equal pay for equal work and the freedom to make our own decisions about our health. He named two brilliant women who understand our lives to the Supreme Court. And he's fought to make sure gay Americans can openly serve the country they love.

Making sure everyone in America has a chance to make it like he did—that's what my big brother is all about. And that's what he'll do for four more years!

Craig: Four years ago, I told you how, when she was a young girl, Michelle used to talk to me about which kids at school were having a tough time at home and didn't have anybody to stick up for them. And what inspired her most as she traveled this country on that campaign were the stories of brave Americans who juggle everything at home while their husbands or wives are off at war.

You see, America's military spouses and families make profound sacrifices, too. And Michelle promised that if she had the privilege to serve as first lady, she'd do everything she could to make sure America was there to honor, recognize and support their unique service. I've been so proud to watch her rally Americans to give millions of hours of their time in service to our military families.

She's convinced schools that educate military children to add better courses. When Barack challenged businesses to hire 100,000 veterans and military spouses, Michelle and Jill Biden rallied CEOs to the cause. And last month, they stood with CEOs to announce that they've hired 125,000 veterans, surpassing the goal more than a year ahead of schedule.

She's still the kind little sister she always was—now she's just sticking up for those who stand up for us. And I'm proud of her work to give our children a healthier start in life. Let's face it, Maya, I'm going to need the recruits!

Maya: Barack and Michelle have always been there for us. Tonight, we're here for them. And with your help, we can fill the White House with their warmth, compassion and commitment to all our people for four more years!

Thank you.


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