KANSAS CITY — Brandishing her trademark honesty, Michelle Obama said Thursday that she initially opposed her husband's decision to run for president.
"I said, 'No way. Absolutely not.' The last thing I wanted for my girls was to have their worlds turned upside down. It broke my heart just to think about it," she said.
But then she stepped back and took a broader view that included her daughters' futures and relented. "I had no choice."
And with that, the crowd of several hundred rose and cheered.
In her first stop on a day-long visit to Kansas City that was also to include a fundraiser in a wealthy suburb and a meeting with women politicians, Obama's focus was on the plight of women struggling to raise children while working outside the home.
Although Obama said several times that she was in a fortunate position, she talked about the struggles of child-rearing in a down ecomony. She also talked about her own struggles at a time her husband is running for president.
"People wear so many different hats these days. I am the wife of a presidential candiate, which is like wearing eight hats."
Like many moms, Obama says she thinks about her daughters, Maila, 10, and Sasah, 7, first thing in the morning and the last thing at night.
"I am constantly worried about how they're doing, are they having fun, are they loved," she said.
She said she wished she had a "magic machine" to create more time in her day for all she has to do. Obama said she often feels she has to be three places at once.
She said she'd set a personal goal to put women in a better place in this country. Obama promoted universal health care, and policies to pay women on a par with men, and provide more paid time off to attend to family needs.
Obama then hosted a forum with four other women, who shared their own stuggles.