The President has been a big proponent of the public option since the campaign.

My daughter is, of course, perfect. Everyone's child is, but mine really is perfect. But I could not have raised her without my parents. From the time she was seven months until now, I have been a single parent.

Our democracy... is only as good as the American people demand it should be.

With women composing nearly half the American workforce and increasingly serving as the primary breadwinner for families, we can't afford to treat pregnant women differently than their counterparts, especially when slight job modifications could help them stay in the workforce at no risk to their health.

Some people might have different ideas about what progress looks like, and some are cynical and place their short-term political interests ahead of what is good for our country. But many of them aren't cynical and try hard to do their best.

We wouldn't take a gun away from a law-abiding citizen. We wouldn't take a gun away from anyone.

We have held forums here at the White House on workplace flexibility, and the first major bill signed into law by President Obama was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Lilly was here a few weeks ago because we were trying very hard to push paycheck fairness through the Congress. Unfortunately, we fell two votes short.

We are a country that believes in free speech and the open debate of ideas. We're a country that also believes in the Second Amendment and our ability to have guns. But we've got to figure out a way to keep America safe.

I want spend some time continuing to be a force for good.

It's a big, complicated democracy, and one of the strengths of our country is... its rich diversity.

So much of what I do is so strictly confidential that it's nice to be able to discuss or vent or laugh about something and not read about it in the newspaper the next day.

We have every confidence that people within the White House have behaved appropriately.

I realize that I was being the kind of parent that I thought my daughter needed. I was a good role model for her on what a working mom can do.

What do we do to just rebuild and focus on creating a big and inclusive tent, where we're focusing on making sure every child gets that fair shot, that every woman gets to compete on a level playing field, that we are true to the core values of our country, and we're making sure that we honor those values?

The biggest strength we have as Democrats is encouraging people to speak up about what is in their best interest.

What keeps me up at night is worrying about the moms who depend on ACA for all of the preventive care and not to mention prenatal care, the wellness visits, and the cost of delivery.

I finally said, 'I don't care if you're the first person in your family to be a lawyer.' Everybody thought what I was doing was really exciting, but it was not moving me one bit. And that's when I decided to join city government in Chicago, and that changed my life.

Working parents, working families, and expectant workers are vital members of our workforce. Ensuring their success is how we maintain our global economic advantage.

Given the daunting challenges that we face, it's important that president elect Obama is prepared to really take power and begin to rule day one.

Do you want to get rid of the rules of the road? Do you want to let everybody just do whatever they want to do? Or do you want to really look out for the consumer, look out for the American people, and figure out ways to create and foster an environment where companies want to double down on America?

Own your choices. Don't feel ashamed about what you're doing, trust yourself that you're a good parent, don't let anybody else shame you, and, certainly, don't shame yourself.

What makes a lot of sense is that, while people are incarcerated, give them the tools they need to be able to have a productive, lucrative living when they leave so they can provide for their families and break that cycle of recidivism.

To know the first lady is to love Michelle.

I just worry a lot. I'm a worrier. Michelle and Barack are really dear to me. I mean, I love them. And I don't want to see them get hurt. Just the nature of politics is hurtful. So every time they are hurt, I get hurt. It's a lot to ask of people, and it's a lot to see your friends go through. It's hard not to get emotional.

I wasn't burdened by a personal history of prejudice. It's part of why I thought Barack could win.

Married in 1983, separated in 1987, and divorced in 1988. Enough said.

Encouraging the next generation is really where my heart is.

The Recovery plan will put money in the pockets of the American worker, create and save millions of new jobs and invest in crucial areas such as health care, education, energy independence and a new infrastructure.

One of the problems I have with the administration is that they're not tough enough. They are waiting for BP to say, 'Oh, we've got a new plan to stop the oil leak.' They need to stop it, contain it, clean it up.

I've had people say to me, 'Well, I enjoy going to the firing range and using the assault weapons.' But the pleasure derived from that compared to the horrendous damage that it can do, we believe that the damage warrants banning assault weapons.

Let's put in place programs to ensure that all of our children are reading by third grade.

The whole issue of healthcare is very complicated. There have been seven Presidents who've tried to get healthcare reform passed.

Please be assured that as we move along through the implementation of health insurance reform, making sure that we find efficiencies within the existing system, is foremost on the President's mind.

We don't want to get distracted by looking back; we need to move forward.

I am hopeful about our future and sure that, despite our challenges, engaging our government remains essential in the journey toward perfecting our union.

Companies have told us that they have employees who are near retirement age. We created a $5 billion reinsurance pool to help them bear the cost of those employees on the brink of retirement.

Overcoming adversity not only makes you stronger, it makes you more hopeful.

Equal pay, paid leave, paid sick days, workplace flexibility, and affordable childcare - everywhere I go around the United States, as I talk to working families, these are the issues they raise... We have over 43 million Americans who don't have a single day of sick leave, but everybody gets sick. Everybody's children get sick.

What we wouldn't want to see is just a piece of legislation on border security and high tech immigration without focusing on the path to citizenship for the 11 million people who are here, and other provisions.

I saw a complete lack of courage in Washington to tackle some of our biggest challenges.

I wouldn't trade the best days of my life in the private sector for the worst days of my life in the public sector.

I vividly remember early on in my career when I was eight months pregnant, working literally around the clock, and worrying that each trip to the restroom or my need to catch the occasional catnap was causing my colleagues to question whether I could keep up.

I'm a beneficiary of an extraordinary education, and I believe that no matter where you live, the access to education is key to social mobility.

My goal in the new administration is to engage all of the stakeholders, everyone who can help us meet the challenges of the 21st century, and ensure that we work together.

I certainly hope that we can all continue to be forces for good after leaving the White House.

Just because somebody says no doesn't mean that you have to listen. You can do what you think is right.

We want to make sure that we incentivize the health care system to be designed to provide you the best quality health care possible.

President Obama stands ready to work with everyone, because that's what the American people expect and deserve - not for the short term political advantages, but the long term health of our country. We don't spend time trying to figure out what's in the minds of Republicans, we try to keep our focus on the American people.

Throughout the health-insurance reform process, we have had a frequent and consistent dialogue with the business community - small, medium, and large - to analyze and evaluate the impact that reform would have on them. It has been a very instructive and productive dialogue.