08/26/2008 at 09:00 PM EDT
Even during her speech Monday
at the Democratic National Convention, Michelle Obama says her mind was on her kids.
"School is about to start, and I was thinking about how I was going
to get Malia's books and locker combination," Obama told a room of supporters at the Emily's List gala in Denver, where she shared the platform Tuesday with a laudatory Sen. Hillary Clinton.
The two women spoke separately before the 2,500 supporters, many of whom had paid $5,000 for the
privilege of hearing Clinton preview what she is expected to say in Tuesday night's speech: "Work as hard for Barack Obama as you did for me."
Clinton looked rested and fit, dressed in a beige linen suit, as she stepped to the podium to thank
her many followers at the fund-raiser for Early Money Is Like Yeast, a group that supports female candidates for government. She urged them to support the Obama/Biden ticket
they "will champion the issues we care about."
Then Clinton lauded Michelle Obama, complimenting her on a "terrific"
speech at the DNC – though Clinton wasn't there in the Pepsi Center at the time. ("She couldn't just walk into the convention hall without being a distraction," a source tells PEOPLE about why Clinton didn't attend.)
Instead, Clinton had participated in an event promoting an issue
she's passionate about, micro-credit initiatives to help women lift
themselves out of poverty. But a friend of the New York senator's said she did watch the speech on television.
On Tuesday, Clinton assured the supporters that with Michelle Obama, "they have
someone to call" in the White House on women's issues and that "Michelle
Obama is somebody who will answer that phone."
Like Clinton, Obama chose beige; unlike Clinton, she looked tired
when she took the podium. She, too, had kind words: "No one," she said, "has
been more gracious, forthcoming and helpful to me over the last several
months than Hillary Clinton."
She finished by letting the Emily's List supporters know that the Obamas
need what Clinton called for: their support. "Don't think just Barack
needs you," she said. "I am going to need you, too."
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