It's such an honor for me to be here tonight.
I'm here as a proud American a proud Democrat a proud mother and tonight in particular, a very, very proud daughter.
Mark and I almost can't quite believe it, but our daughter Charlotte is nearly two years old. She loves Elmo she loves blueberries and above all, she loves Facetiming with Grandma. My mom can be about to walk on stage for a debate or a speech. It doesn't matter. She'll drop everything for a few minutes of blowing kisses and reading "Chugga Chugga Choo Choo" with her granddaughter.
Our son Aidan is five-and-a-half weeks old. Thankfully, he's healthy and thriving – and well, we're biased, but we think he's just about the cutest baby in the world – a view I'm pretty sure my mom shares.
And every day that I spend as Charlotte and Aidan's mother, I think about my own mother – my wonderful, thoughtful, hilarious mother.
My earliest memory is my mom picking me up after I'd fallen down, giving me a big hug, and reading me Goodnight Moon.
From that moment to this one, every single memory I have of my mom is that regardless of what else may be happening in her life – she's always, always there for me.
Every soccer and softball game. Every piano recital and dance recital. Sundays at our church and local library. Countless Saturdays spent finding shapes in the clouds. Making up stories about what we'd do if we ever met a triceratops – in my opinion, the friendliest-looking dinosaur, though my mom would always remind me that, friendly or not, it's still a dinosaur. As a kid I pretty was obsessed with dinosaurs. The day my parents took me to Dinosaur National Park, I didn't think life could get any better.
Whenever my mom was away for work – which thankfully didn't happen very often – she left notes for me to open every day she was gone – all stacked neatly in a special drawer, each with a date on the front so I'd know which one to open on which day. When she went to France to learn about their childcare system, one was all about the Eiffel Tower. Another was about the ideas she hoped to bring home to help the kids of Arkansas. I treasured each and every one of those notes. They were another reminder that I was always in her thoughts and in her heart.
Growing up, conversations around our dinner table would start with what I learned in school that day. I remember one week talking incessantly about a book that had captured my imagination, "A Wrinkle in Time." Only after my parents had listened to me they would then talk about what they were working on – education, health care – what was consuming their days and keeping them up at night. I loved that my parents expected me to have opinions and be able to back them up with facts. I never once doubted that my parents cared about my thoughts and ideas. And I always, always knew how deeply they loved me.
That feeling of being valued and loved – that's what my mom wants for every child. It is the calling of her life.
My parents raised me to know how lucky I was – to never have to worry about food on the table, good schools to go to, a safe neighborhood to play in. And they taught me to care about what happens in our world – and to do whatever I could to change what frustrated me and felt wrong. They taught me that's the responsibility that comes with being smiled on by fate. I know my kids are a little young – but I'm already trying to instill those same values in them.
There's something else that my mother taught me: public service is about service.
And as her daughter, I've had a special window into how she serves.
I've seen her holding the hands of mothers who are worried about how to feed their kids or get them the health care they need – my mother promising to do everything she could to help.
I've seen her right after those conversations, getting straight to work – figuring out what she could do, who she could call, how fast she could get results. She always feels like there isn't a moment to lose – because she knows that for that mother, for that family, there isn't.
And I've seen her at the low points – like the summer of 1994. Several people this week have talked about her fight for universal health care. I saw it up close. It was bruising and exhausting. She fought her heart out and she lost. For me, then 14 years old, it was pretty tough to watch. But my mom – she was amazing. She took a little time to replenish her spirits. Family movie nights definitely helped – Dad, as all of you now know, liked Police Academy my mom and I loved Pride and Prejudice. And then, she got right back to work – because she believed she could still make a difference for kids.
People ask me all the time how does she do it. How she keeps going amid the sound and fury of politics.
Here's how. Because she never ever forgets who she's fighting for.
She's worked to make it easier for foster kids to be adopted. For our 9/11 first responders to get the health care they deserve. For women around the world to be safe, to be treated with dignity, and to have more opportunities.
Fights like these, they're what keep her going. They grab her heart and her conscience and they never let go.
That's who my mom is. She's a listener and a doer, she's a woman driven by compassion, by faith, by a fierce sense of justice and a heart full of love.
So this November, I'm voting for a woman who is my role model as a mother and as an advocate. A woman who has spent her entire life working for children and families.
I'm voting for the progressive who will protect our planet from climate change and our communities from gun violence. Who will reform our criminal justice system, and who knows that women's rights are human rights, and who knows that LGBT rights are human rights – here at home and around the world.
I'm voting for a fighter who never, ever gives up and who believes we can always do better when we come together and work together.
I hope that one day my children will be as proud of me as I am of my mom. I'm so grateful to be her daughter. I'm so grateful that she's Charlotte and Aidan's grandmother. She makes me proud every single day.
And Mom, Grandma would be so, so proud of you tonight.
To everyone watching here and at home, I know with all my heart that my mother will make us proud as our next president.
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