Michelle Obama visits N.C.
Published 9:20 pm Wednesday, August 1, 2012
By ALLEN REED
The Associated Press
GREENSBORO — First lady Michelle Obama campaigned Wednesday in the political battleground state of North Carolina, urging a supportive crowd to get out the vote for her husband’s re-election bid.
“Are you all-in?” she asked the more than 2,000 people gathered in a gymnasium at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Obama sought support for “It Takes One,” a program launched in July in which she is leading efforts to drum up more registered voters to support President Barack Obama in the fall. As the face of the program, the first lady is raising her campaign profile as she exhorts supporters of the incumbent to get friends, relatives and neighbors involved in the election.
Those gathered huddled on the gymnasium floor and crowded around the stage for a better view of the first lady, regularly bursting into chants of “Four more years!” and “Yes, we can!”
Obama encouraged North Carolinians to get more involved in the Obama campaign and to recruit a friend.
“That one new voter that you register, now think about it, that one neighbor you help get to the polls, that could be the one who makes the difference,” she said during a 30-minute speech.
While the first lady chiefly stuck to familiar talking points, the message that one vote can make a difference resonates in the battleground state. Her husband narrowly won North Carolina by 14,000 votes in 2008. It was the first time Democrats carried the state since Jimmy Carter’s 1976 campaign, and Republicans feel confident about flipping the state back to red come November.
The first lady also continued to promote her husband’s economic message.
“He believes that when you’ve worked hard and done well and walked through the door of opportunity you do not slam it shut behind you,” she said. She also touted the landmark Affordable Care Act, the sweeping federal health care reform championed by the president.
“This election is a choice about supporting women and families,” she told the crowd. “So be sure to tell people that Barack believes that women should be able to make our own choices about health care.”
North Carolina will host the Democratic National Convention for the first time in September. The appearance Wednesday was the first lady’s first to the state since May, when she spoke at commencement exercises at North Carolina A&T State University.
Both the Romney and Obama presidential campaigns have made trips to North Carolina, specifically to its third largest city. In July, Ann Romney was in Greensboro stumping for her husband. The presidential contenders both visited in April. A proposed Romney bus tour could take him through the state later this month.
The first lady scheduled an appearance at a fundraising event Wednesday evening at the Raleigh Marriott City Center. The $250 tickets will go to the Obama Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee of Obama for America, the Democratic National Committee and several state Democratic organizations. She heads Thursday to New Hampshire for more campaigning and fundraising.