Politics

Doubt

First Lady Michelle Obama sees herself in her husband's pick for the Supreme Court slot but not just because she's a woman and a fellow lawyer.

During a commencement speech Wednesday to graduates of Washington Mathematics Science Technology Public Charter High School, she told the students not to let moments of doubt overcome them because she and Judge Sonia Sotomayor have been through the doubt gamut.When she got into Princeton University, Mrs. Obama said,

"I was excited, but I was also worried. I was worried about whether or not I was ready; whether or not i would fit in."

She overcame those doubts, realizing she probably wasn't alone. Many years later, she read the story of the "phenomenal" Judge Sotomayor upon her own arrival at Princeton some years before Mrs. Obama's. Sotomayor has said she "felt like visitor landing in an alien country" and that she never raised her hand her entire first year because she was too "embarrassed and intimidated" to ask questions.

Sotomayor, Obama told the students, has said that despite all of her successes, she still looks over her shoulder and wonders if she measures up; a sentiment that brings back memories for Mrs. Obama.

"I understood what it must have been like for her to step on that campus despite these nagging voices that sometimes rumble around in your head. And for me, the voices came from people, who at first told me, 'Don't bother applying to Princeton...' because, they said, I'd never get in. Then, when I got in, they told me not to go because they told me I wouldn't be able to compete against students who would be more prepared...Voices of people sowing seeds of doubt."

Mrs. Obama began to fall victim to the doubters at the time and actually started to believe what they were saying; a lesson Obama wants today's graduates to learn from. "For those of you who may be doubting...Trust me, I know how you feel."