• "Sitting on the Sidelines is Simply Not an Option"

    Michelle Obama

    First Lady Michelle Obama was in Pratt City on Wednesday reviewing updates on tornado recovery efforts following the 2011 tornado that ravaged that city before chatting and hugging children preparing healthy trail mix in honor of the First Lady's signature issue. Many of the children were tornado survivors. Prior to leaving the state, Mrs. Obama spoke at an event in Birmingham to a group of energetic supporters reminding the crowd what her husband stands for and why this election is so important. Here’s a highlight:

    What I like to remind people when I travel around the country is that we're here, we're doing this because of the values we believe in. That's why we're here. We're doing this because of the vision for this country that we all share. We're doing this because we want all of our children to have good schools, right? The kind of schools that push them, and inspire them -- we know those schools. The kind of schools that prepare them for the good jobs and the opportunities of the future -- that's why we're here.

    We want our parents and our grandparents to be able to retire with some dignity, because we believe that after a lifetime of hard work, they should be able to enjoy their golden years, right? We're here because we want to restore that basic middle-class security for all of our families, because we believe that in America folks shouldn't go bankrupt because they get sick. Not in America. They shouldn't lose their home because someone loses a job. Not in America. We believe that responsibility should be rewarded, and that hard work should pay off. We believe that everyone should do their fair share, but play by the same rules. And the thing we know is that these are basic American values, right?

    And more than anything else, that's what's at stake. That's why we're here. That's what we're working for. It's that fundamental promise that no matter who you are or how you started out, in America, if you work hard, you can build a decent life for yourself and an even better life for your kids. And it is that promise that binds us together as Americans. That's what we cannot forget. That is what makes us who we are. That's what makes this country special.

    When it comes time to stand up for our workers and our families, so folks can make a decent wage, save for retirement, see a doctor when they're sick, you know what Barack Obama is going to do. And when we need a President to protect our most basic rights -- no matter who we love, or where we're from, or what race or what gender we are -- you know you can count on my husband, because that's what he's been doing every single day as President of the United States. Every single day.

    But I have said this before, and I will say it again: He cannot do this alone. That was never the promise. Because, as Barack has said, this election will be even closer than the last one. That is a guarantee. So he needs your help. And let me just say -- and I know that I'm talking to our people here, but let me just say, sitting on the sidelines is simply not an option if we want to keep this country moving forward. It's not an option. Barack needs you to be actively and passionately engaged. He needs you to make those phone calls. He needs you to organize those events. He needs you to join one of our neighborhood teams. These teams are groups of people all over the state and all over the country. We've got team leaders right here. And they're giving just a little bit of their time and energy to make a difference for this campaign. Everything we do on the ground runs through our teams. That's what's going to make the difference.

    And let me just say, if anyone here has any doubt about the difference you can make, I just want you to remember that in the end, this election could all come down to those last few thousand people that we register to vote, right? It could all come down to those last few thousand people that we help get to the polls on November the 6th. So with every conversation you have, I just want you to remember -- think in your mind -- think this could be the one that makes the difference. With every conversation -- this could be the one. That is the kind of impact that each of us can have.

    To find out what else the First Lady told the Birmingham audience about what you can do to make a difference in this campaign, check out the full remarks.

    AL