First Lady visits Westerville
Campaign stop inspires, touts 'It Takes One'
Under the now familiar "Forward" Obama campaign banner in the gym of Westerville Central High School, First Lady Michelle Obama encouraged supporters of her husband's re-election campaign Tuesday, July 24.
"Are we going to let everything we've worked for just slip away?" Obama asked the crowd of more than 1,000 people. "Barack has the backs of the American people."
Bringing the national presidential campaign to the local level, Mrs. Obama outlined her husband's accomplishments as president -- including the passage of the health care bill, the end to the war in Iraq and the bailout of the auto industry -- while unveiling the new "It Takes One" campaign.
The campaign urges supporters to enlist one more person to volunteer on the campaign and to go out and vote.
With a close election coming, Obama said, each person is key to the campaign.
"This election will be closer than the last one," she said. "It takes one; just think like that.
"It takes just one voice to change a room, and if you change a room, you can change a city, and if you can change a city, you can change a state, and if you can change a state, you can change a country."
Obama said the president's re-election campaign and beliefs are based on strengthening the middle class, which she said they both were part of growing up.
She said both she and the president came from families of hard workers who aimed to have their bills paid each month and see their children do better than they did and who believed that with hard work, anyone could improve their lives.
"These are the values that many of us were raised with. These are the values that I was raised with," Obama said. "(President Obama) knows what it means to work hard because you want something better for your children and your grandchildren."
Obama said both she and her husband represent that American dream, and the platform they support -- including making college tuition and health care more affordable -- helps to further that dream for others.
"When you walk through that door of opportunity, you don't slam it behind you, you reach back," Obama said. "That's what's at stake in this election."
As she closed her speech, Obama encouraged those gathered to go all out for the president during his re-election campaign.
"Are you in? Ready to roll up your sleeves in?" Obama asked. "Are you ready to pull in that one person?"
Those who gathered to hear her speak said they were inspired by the remarks.
"I am really supportive of the Democratic Party. I love Obama," Pickerington resident Kathy Gentry said. "(Mrs. Obama) is fabulous. She is so inspiring. ... I think she represents (the president) well. She knows, I think, what's in his heart."
London resident Robyn Peterson said she was excited to hear Obama talk about the health care bill, which Peterson said will benefit people who are dear to her.
"It's close to my heart. I have family members who are very ill but don't have coverage. They make too much to get assistance," Peterson said.
She said she found Michelle Obama inspiring as a successful woman.
"Everyone loves her," Peterson said of Obama. "She's just a dynamic person and just a true inspiration as a mother and businessperson."
Fairfield County resident Lori Bush said she loved everything Obama had to say and everything the campaign stood for.
"I thought it was great. Everything she said, I agree with," Bush said. "I wish I had a chance to speak to her one on one."