Roland Martin secures interview with Michelle Obama on TV One

Big ups as usual to my chapter brother Roland Martin for securing an interview with Michelle Obama.  

August 21, 2008 –Michelle Obama sits down with TV One commentator Roland Martin to discuss a wide range of topics that provide a personal glimpse of the presumptive Democratic Presidential candidate’s spouse, her relationship with her husband and family, and what she thinks about the historic role into which they have stepped on Sunday, August 24 from 8-9 PM ET, when TV One premieres In Conversation. . .The Michelle Obama  Interview.

During this revealing one-hour interview, which repeats that night at 11 PM ET, Martin talks to Mrs. Obama about a host of topics, including her role in the campaign, how she deals with political attacks, the challenges of being away from their children on the campaign trail, how they find time for family and each other, her faith and their decision to leave Trinity Church, life in a fishbowl, how her upbringing shaped her values, and people’s perceptions and misperceptions about her.

Mrs. Obama tells Martin that she spent much of her marriage trying to talk her husband out of politics, but she says her daughters are at the heart of the reason she decided to support his decision to pursue public office –  because she recognized that through politics he could make a better world for them.

She tells Martin that a spouse’s role in the campaign is important because it gives a broader insight of who the candidate is.

“So much of who I am is where I grew up,” Mrs. Obama says. She talks about growing up on the South Side of Chicago, her father as a shift worker who had MS, and who believed in sacrificing for his family but never complained. She says both her parents taught her the importance of working hard and giving back.

She also believes voters can see themselves reflected in her and her husbands’ working and middle class family backgrounds. She says that black women, in particular, have not had their views and their lives reflected in the larger world, and she is delighted when she hears from black women that they see themselves reflected in her.

When Martin asks about her relationship with her husband, she says they learned back in his days in the state senate how to sustain their relationship, including carving out a regular date night. She says it’s important for her daughters to see their parents’ loving relationship, to see them holding hands, and that it helps them feel secure and loved.

While her own schedule is hectic, she recognizes that the average working family faces much more difficult struggles, with every woman she knows struggling to balance resources. She tells Martin that she passionately wants to give voice to the challenges of working families, especially military families, who struggle with housing, schools, and health matters, many of them barely getting by.

Mrs. Obama tells Martin that it’s truly humbling to be part of the next step in history, but she clearly does recognize that they are part of a historic moment.

“You need to celebrate what [Sen. Obama] represents even if you don’t vote for him,” Mrs. Obama says.

“We are delighted to bring this interview with Mrs. Obama to our viewers as part of our public affairs programming during the Presidential election season,” said TV One President and CEO Johnathan Rodgers. “This next week is clearly a historic moment in African American history, and we are pleased that Mrs. Obama is willing to share this historic time with our viewers, and share her thoughts about what it means to her and her family.”

The interview, which was conducted in Chicago on Aug. 20, is part of TV One’s continuing series of hour-long interviews with major public figures of interest to African Americans. Over the past four years, TV One has featured hour-long interviews with Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, then-Secretary of State Colin Powell, then-National Security Adviser and current Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and former Secretary of Education Roderick Paige.

“We also hope to have an opportunity soon to offer our viewers an in-depth interview with Senator McCain,” Rodgers added.

Roland Martin became a commentator for TV One in the spring of 2005. He is also a contributor and commentator for CNN, a nationally syndicated columnist, and the host of “The Roland S. Martin Show” on WVON-AM radio in Chicago. A former editor of leading African American publications the Chicago Defender, the Houston Defender and the Dallas Weekly, and reporter for the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram and Austin American-Statesman, he has won more than 20 professional awards for journalistic excellence.

The interview serves as a prelude to TV One’s coverage of the Democratic convention. TV One will offer live, nightly primetime coverage of the Democratic convention in Denver Monday, August 25 – Thursday, August 28, followed by TV One Live: DNC Afterparty, a smart, irreverent and engaging hour that includes a uniquely African American cultural perspective on the events of the day. The post-convention show will range from commentary by a diverse group of outspoken panelists, to coverage of the day’s social, cultural and political events, to stories from the convention floor – and from the bus stops and diners around Denver.

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