SEVERE WX : Air Quality Alert View Alerts

With subtle jabs at Trump, Michelle Obama outlines 'what makes America great'

In her first major speech since leaving office, ...

Posted: Feb 2, 2018 9:41 PM
Updated: Feb 2, 2018 9:41 PM

In her first major speech since leaving office, former first lady Michelle Obama made an impassioned argument for the importance of educators in communities across the country, saying the example they set is "what makes America great."

Without naming President Donald Trump, Obama subtly acknowledged his effect on children and nodded to the "anxiety" in political discourse caused by his behavior.

"Our counselors and educators have a far bigger impact on our kids' lives than any president or first lady. ... You all serve as living, breathing examples of the kind of people they should aspire to be," she said, speaking at the Counselor of the Year ceremony at the Kennedy Center, part of her Reach Higher initiative on higher education she spearheaded as first lady.

"And trust me, I know this work isn't easy, especially right now. I know there's a lot of anxiety out there. And there's no denying that our kids, what they see on TV, the kind of behavior being modeled in public life -- all of that, yes -- impacts their behavior and their character," Obama said. "But at times like this the work you are all doing is even more urgent. It's even more critically important. See, you all have the power to teach our kids what it means to go high when others go low. You have that power."

The former first lady told the counselors the "real work" of making change happens on the ground in classrooms and communities.

"Folks like these up here, you all, you don't get dragged down by the headlines, by the false claims about our children and our neighborhoods, you don't have time for that nonsense because you're out there doing the work," Obama said. She added: "No matter what's going on right now, out there, all that noise, you know that our young people are the future, and the most important thing we can do as individuals and as a nation is to believe in all of them, to invest in all of them and to build schools and communities worthy of their boundless promise."

Last year, the 2017 School Counselor of the Year event was Obama's final White House speech, tinged with emotional remarks.

"While it was nice to hold this event in the White House last year, this was never about the White House. It was never about me or Barack, and it's never about the handful of people who happen to be in power at any given time," she said Friday, adding, "Folks who model decency and dignity and integrity for our kids every single day, see, that's who we are. That more than anything is what shapes our children and that's what makes America great."

Though she has maintained a low profile over the last year, adjusting to life in Washington beyond the White House, Obama has continued her work with the Reach Higher initiative she spearheaded as first lady, surprising students at Washington, DC, public schools, celebrating college signing day in New York City, and meeting with rising first-year college students.

On Thursday, she made her first televised appearance since leaving office on "The Ellen Show," dishing on her post-White House life and making an appeal for empathy.

"We have to be an open-hearted nation, and that's who we are. And that's the truth of who we are. We can't lose sight of that. So, let's just keep living our lives like that every single day and forget what they're saying in Washington," she said in the interview.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 612701

Reported Deaths: 7761
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1270801803
Ramsey53350911
Dakota47466477
Anoka43482465
Washington27810296
Stearns22764227
St. Louis18353320
Scott17763139
Wright16615153
Olmsted13587104
Sherburne1218596
Carver1080349
Clay830792
Rice8300112
Blue Earth772844
Crow Wing691799
Kandiyohi673185
Chisago629955
Otter Tail592687
Benton588298
Goodhue487674
Douglas480881
Mower478834
Winona466452
Itasca463968
Isanti447567
McLeod436661
Morrison429562
Beltrami411863
Nobles411750
Steele401819
Polk391372
Becker390057
Lyon366454
Carlton357158
Freeborn353634
Pine338123
Nicollet335145
Mille Lacs316856
Brown309340
Le Sueur301228
Todd289633
Cass289133
Meeker267644
Waseca241823
Martin237633
Roseau212921
Wabasha20883
Hubbard198941
Dodge19173
Renville184246
Redwood178941
Houston176516
Cottonwood168224
Wadena165323
Fillmore160510
Faribault157820
Chippewa154438
Pennington154120
Kanabec148128
Sibley147710
Aitkin140237
Watonwan13629
Rock129919
Jackson123212
Pipestone117326
Yellow Medicine115620
Pope11416
Murray107710
Swift107718
Koochiching96919
Stevens92711
Clearwater89517
Marshall89017
Lake85121
Wilkin84613
Lac qui Parle76222
Big Stone6134
Grant5958
Lincoln5873
Mahnomen5669
Norman5519
Kittson49222
Unassigned49093
Red Lake4037
Traverse3835
Lake of the Woods3504
Cook1740

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 376815

Reported Deaths: 6122
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk59215646
Linn21567342
Scott20530250
Black Hawk16850320
Woodbury15378230
Johnson1479586
Dubuque13627215
Dallas1150699
Pottawattamie11393177
Story1092548
Warren594392
Clinton565894
Cerro Gordo564898
Webster546397
Sioux520574
Muscatine4956106
Marshall493679
Des Moines481776
Jasper454273
Wapello4402124
Buena Vista432340
Plymouth405782
Lee396958
Marion372378
Henry301737
Jones301357
Bremer294663
Carroll287252
Boone273735
Crawford273541
Benton264255
Washington261051
Dickinson251145
Mahaska235151
Jackson225943
Kossuth222166
Clay217927
Tama213872
Delaware213343
Winneshiek201337
Buchanan197834
Page195722
Cedar194323
Hardin192544
Wright191240
Hamilton189251
Fayette188943
Harrison182873
Clayton173258
Butler169135
Madison168019
Floyd165242
Mills164724
Cherokee162238
Lyon161241
Poweshiek159836
Allamakee156452
Hancock154034
Iowa149124
Winnebago147031
Calhoun144813
Cass142155
Grundy139733
Emmet137341
Jefferson135535
Sac133320
Shelby132238
Louisa130749
Union129535
Franklin129223
Appanoose128749
Mitchell127343
Chickasaw126017
Humboldt126026
Guthrie125332
Palo Alto115224
Montgomery106938
Howard105522
Clarke102624
Monroe101533
Keokuk100432
Ida93735
Adair90132
Davis88525
Pocahontas87022
Monona86731
Greene80011
Osceola79517
Lucas78323
Worth7648
Taylor67112
Decatur6649
Fremont64910
Van Buren57318
Ringgold57124
Wayne56623
Audubon53613
Adams3504
Unassigned80
Rochester
Partly Cloudy
58° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 58°
Mason City
Partly Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 54°
Albert Lea
Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 61°
Austin
Partly Cloudy
57° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 57°
Charles City
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 61°
Gradually warming back into the 80s
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

RPU to resume disconnections for customers with outstanding balances

Image

COVID-19 recession was the shortest in history

Image

Sean's Weather 8/2

Image

Demolition Derby at the Olmsted County Fair

Image

KAATS Gymnastics owner weighs in on coaching high level competition

Image

Preventing fights at the fair

Image

Ryan's Evening Forecast (8/1/21)

Image

Autocross at the Olmsted County Fair

Image

American Legion ride for PTSD

Image

Cresco celebrates 100 years of wrestling

Community Events