Fired up and ready for Joe in Iowa this week.
The First Lady visited East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina today to talk to students about what President Obama wants for college graduates:
“When it comes to giving our young people the education they deserve, Barack knows that like me and like so many of you, he never could have attended college—never—without financial aid.
“In fact, what I shared in Charlotte was that when we were first married, our combined monthly student loan bills were actually higher than our mortgage. So, believe me, when it comes to student debt, Barack and I, we’ve been there. And that’s why he’s fought so hard to double funding for Pell Grants, fought so hard to keep interest rates down. Because you have a President who wants you all to have the skills you need for the jobs of the future—those kind of jobs, the good jobs you can raise a family on, jobs that will drive this economy for decades to come. That’s what your President wants."
“Think back to what happened in this state in 2008. Back then Barack won Florida by 236,000 votes. Now, that might sound like a lot, but here’s what it looks like when you break it down—that’s just 36 votes per precinct … So get that number in your head, because that could mean just one vote in your neighborhood, in your dorm. Just one vote in your apartment building could make the difference.”
Hitting the campaign trail with just 50 days to go and a sense of urgency yesterday, First Lady Michelle Obama attracted huge crowds in North Florida. At a stop in Tallahassee, she reiterated a message that has become an important theme: The 2008 election was close, and this one will be even closer.
“So if there’s anyone here sitting here thinking to themselves that maybe their vote doesn’t matter, if there’s anybody here thinking that maybe my involvement doesn’t count, that maybe in this complex political process ordinary folks can’t possibly make a difference—if anybody here is thinking about that, I want you to think about those 36 votes.
“Look around this room. In this stadium, everyone in here could win this election—36 people. With just a few evenings on a phone bank, with just a few weekends knocking on doors, just a few of you here could swing an entire precinct for Barack Obama. And if we win enough precincts, we will win this state. And if we win Florida, we’ll be well on our way to putting Barack Obama back in the White House for four more years. We’re right here. We’re close.”
The First Lady visited Virginia today, motivating supporters in Richmond and Fredericksburg to get involved:
“We won Virginia by 235,000 votes [in 2008]. Now, that’s wonderful. And while that might sound like a lot, think about this: When you break that number down, that’s just 100 votes per precinct. Now think about that—100 votes. That could mean just a couple of votes in your neighborhood, just a single vote in your apartment building.
“So for anyone here who might be thinking that your vote doesn’t matter, that your involvement doesn’t count, that in this complex political process, ordinary folks can’t possibly make a difference—anyone who is thinking about that, I want you to think about those 100 votes. Think about that. I want you to think about, with just a few evenings on a phone bank, with just a few weekends knocking on doors, just a few of you here today could swing an entire precinct for Barack Obama. Just you all here could do that.”
From their cheers, their “We love Michelle” signs, and their standing ovations, it was clear that the folks in the audience loved the First Lady’s speech in Charlotte last night. Here’s what a few of them had to say:
“I thought it was so wonderful and emotional. She lifted our hopes—that’s what we need to keep marching ahead.”
As she headed home from the First Lady's speech late last night, Grace, one of the Front Row with Barack and Michelle winners, gave an update on her evening at the convention:
"Each speech was more inspiring than the next. Of course it was wonderful to hear from Julián Castro. Then we heard from a mother of five—four of her children are serving our country, and that was just like 'wow.'
"Then Michelle Obama took the stage and was just awe-inspiring. She’s the First Lady, but she’s so relatable. Her daughters are her priority, and my daughter, Caitlin, is mine. It was awesome to hear her speak about that and see that we have that in common—it's a strong bond. I know what she’s going through, and I know she and the President will make our country better as he continues to work for the American people. So I completely am backing them up the way they would back me up.
"We had an amazing day. It was awe-inspiring, and we cannot wait until tomorrow."
Check back for more updates from the convention floor.
Closing out the first night of the convention, Michelle Obama had the audience members in Charlotte on their feet:
“So today, when the challenges we face start to seem overwhelming—or even impossible—let us never forget that doing the impossible is the history of this nation. It is who we are as Americans. It is how this country was built.
“And if our parents and grandparents could toil and struggle for us, if they could raise beams of steel to the sky, send a man to the moon, and connect the world with the touch of a button, then surely we can keep on sacrificing and building for our own kids and grandkids.”
“And if so many brave men and women could wear our country’s uniform and sacrifice their lives for our most fundamental rights, then surely we can do our part as citizens of this great democracy to exercise those rights, surely, we can get to the polls on Election Day and make our voices heard.
“If farmers and blacksmiths could win independence from an empire, if immigrants could leave behind everything they knew for a better life on our shores, if women could be dragged to jail for seeking the vote, if a generation could defeat a depression, and define greatness for all time, if a young preacher could lift us to the mountaintop with his righteous dream, and if proud Americans can be who they are and boldly stand at the altar with who they love…then surely, surely we can give everyone in this country a fair chance at that great American Dream.”
“Never underestimate the power that you have. That one conversation that you have, that one new volunteer that you recruit, that could be the one that puts this election over the top. That could be the difference between us waking up on November the 7th and asking ourselves, ‘Could we have done more?’ or feeling the promise of four more years. That’s the difference—the power of one.”
—First Lady Michelle Obama, speaking at Bradley Tech High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on the difference one person can make
Supporters in Milwaukee on Thursday took the First Lady’s message to heart. At the event, a few folks shared their stories of how they joined the campaign.Read More…