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Special Report

Michelle Obama Sheds Some Light on Why She Went so Long Without Being Proud of Her Country

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

New Information

A profile of Michelle Obama in the upcoming issue of The New Yorker magazine may help explain why she said last month that — "for the first time in my adult lifetime I am really proud of my country."

The article quotes from a speech Mrs. Obama made to a crowd in a South Carolina church in January. Reporter Lauren Collins writes – "Obama begins with a broad assessment of life in America in 2008, and life is not good: we're a divided country, we're a country that is 'just downright mean,' we are 'guided by fear,' we're a nation of cynics, sloths, and complacents. 'We have become a nation of struggling folks who are barely making it every day,' she said, as heads bobbed in the pews. 'Folks are just jammed up, and it's gotten worse over my lifetime. And, doggone it, I'm young. Forty-four!'"

Call to Arms

Supporters of Michelle's husband are calling on him to — as headlined in The Hill newspaper — "trade his kid gloves for boxing gloves." They are said to be urging Barack Obama to go after Hillary Clinton more aggressively on issues such as her reluctance to release her tax returns — and her vote to authorize the Iraq war. And they want him to respond to Clinton's increasingly negative campaigning.

Obama supporter Congressman John Varmuth of Kentucky — "He doesn't lose his cool very often, but some of these things deserve a more passionate response. Maybe he should show a little anger."

And Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia says — " People will ask, 'Is he tough enough? Does he have a glass jaw? Is he aggressive enough to be president?' Nice guys truly finish last in politics."

The Enemy Within

Meanwhile aggression and anger seem to be plentiful in the Clinton campaign. The Washington Post reports that even after victories in Ohio and Texas Tuesday — many of Clinton's advisers are waging what it calls a two front war — one against Obama — the second against one another.

Much of the hostility continues to be directed at chief strategist Mark Penn. The story describes profanity-laced arguments between key staffers. And now there is said to be concern that this week's rebound may be too little, too late.

Said one adviser — "There was an arrogant attitude on the part of the campaign for many months. And now we're in a fight for our lives."

United We Stand

Two Ohio Democrats tell The Politico newspaper that superdelegates in the state are banding together to get what they want — withholding their endorsements from Obama and Clinton until they receive what is called a concrete proposal to protect American jobs.

The stance is the first evidence of superdelegates joining forces to use their leverage in exchange for political favors. All but one of Ohio's congressional Democrats remain uncommitted — even though the state voted solidly for Clinton Tuesday.

A spokesman for Congressman Tim Ryan says the group sent a letter to both candidates last week outlining their views about the economy. But he denies there is any collusion to withhold votes.

FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.