Michelle Obama campaigns for Barack in Ryan territory
Published: Friday, October 19, 2012
Updated: Friday, October 19, 2012 17:10
Michelle Obama campaigned for the President in Mitt Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan’s territory Friday morning. Racine, Wisc., a city of around 80,000 that voted for Obama in 2008 and re-elected Paul Ryan to Congress in a landslide election in 2010, is considered a big city to land in the swing state of Wisconsin.
This is not the first time that the current administration has stopped in Racine. In Feb. 2008, then candidate Barack Obama made a campaign stop in the city and in 2010 he visited as President. However, it is the first time that the first lady has visited the city and she began her speech by saying it was the “closest [she’ll] get to home” until after the election. Later on, she mentioned growing up on the South Side of Chicago and a large group of the audience began chanting “South Side” making the first lady smile.
It was not until the end of her speech that Michelle touched on the fact that Romney’s running mate being from the district may cause the incumbent some issues in holding his ground. Although she did not mention Paul Ryan by name, Michelle reaffirmed that Wisconsin is now considered a swing state and said to the audience of around 4,000 that, “this room could swing an entire district.”
The majority of Michelle Obama’s speech was focused on what her husband has done so far as President and how she believes that it is vital, especially for women and young adults, to re-elect him.
Michelle brought woman’s issues into her speech by urging the audience, “hear me on this one.” She said that Barack Obama was a man who knew that women have the ability, and the right, to “make our own decisions about our bodies,” bringing loud cheers from the audience.
The first lady also urged voters to think about the men and women who have fought and sacrificed for this country, who “never again have to lie about who they are,” because the Obama administration has repealed Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.
As Michelle began to move the discussion to young adults, she reminded that audience that her and Barack “never ever could have gone to college without student loans. In fact, when we married our combined student loan debt was higher than our mortgage.” Afterward she mentioned that the current administration has doubled funding for Pell Grants.
Taking a swing at Romney and his campaign based on successful business experience, Michelle said that the decisions that the president faces are, “not just about the bottom line, but laying the foundation for the next generation.”
Specifically addressing the young people in the audience, and the issue that voter turnout of those under 25 will be significantly lower than it was in 2008, Michelle shared a life lesson that she said most adults in the room had already learned, “real change is always hard. It requires perseverance and tenaciousness.”
For the second time during her speech, the first lady spoke against how potential disappointment in the “hope and change” Barack Obama promised in 2008 could make some feel that they should vote for Romney, or not vote at all. “Elections are always about hope,” Michelle Obama said.