First Lady Michelle Obama speaks to 2,000 supporters at Tri - C
By JAMES W. WADE III
First lady, Michelle Obama, came to Cleveland and helped boost over 2,000 supporters with her speech Monday at Cuyahoga Community College Metro Campus.
She started with some personal good news.
“I know that it’s the middle of the day and you all are out here ready to work, all fired up and ready to go. I love that! I love it. And let me tell you. I’m feeling pretty fired up and ready to go because this morning, let me tell you what I did, I cast my ballot early for Barack Obama. Yeah! Yes, today! It felt so good,” she said.
She talked about how important states like Ohio are to the election. “The election could all come down to just a few key states, includingOhio, where President Obama won by 262,000 votes in 2008. When you break that number down across a precinct, that’s just 24 votes per precinct.”
The first lady spoke on various reasons why President Obama needs four more years in the White House. “We believe in keeping our priorities straight. What does that mean? Well, we know good and well that cuttingSesame Streetis no way to balance our budget. We know that. We know that shortchanging our kids is not how to tackle our deficit. If we truly want to build opportunities for all Americans, yes, we need to cut wasteful spending. But, we also need to make smart investments in our future in education and infrastructure, things that are necessary for an economy built to last. And that’s what my husband stands for. That’s the country he has been working to build for the last three and a half years. Those are his values,” she said.
Speaking from experience, she really electrified the crowd. “And over the past three and a half years, as first lady, let me tell you… I have seen up close and personal what being president really looks like. I’ve seen it. And I have seen how critical those values are for leading this country. I’ve seen how the issues that come across a president’s desk are always the hard ones, the decisions that aren’t just about the bottom line, but they’re about laying a foundation for the next generation. And I’ve seen how important it is to have a president who doesn’t just tell us what we want to hear but who will tell us the truth even when it’s hard, especially when it’s hard.”
Being a female, the first lady took offense to statements by the other party about what a woman should do or choose not to do with her body. “And finally, when it comes to understanding the lives of women, when it comes to standing up for our rights and opportunities, we know that my husband will always have our backs, always. Why? Because Barack knows from personal experience what it means for a family when women aren’t treated fairly in the workplace. And trust me, today as a father of two girls, he knows what it means to want our daughters to have the same freedoms and opportunities as our sons. And that’s why the very first bill he signed as president was to make sure women got equal pay for equal work,” said Obama.
This was a subject of interest to Beverly Butler from Akron, Ohio, who was very much in agreement with the first lady. Sporting a pink shirt she made about her body, she was fired up and ready to help with the first lady’s speaking points. “I have been taking care of this body for 60 years. My mother taught me how to deal with my body. I do not need anyone from the GOP telling me what to do with my body,” saidButler.
Stanley Anderson fromWarrensville Heights, a veteran of the Vietnam War, led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance. Allison Colvin, a minister from Olivet Institutional Baptist Church, where her husband is the pastor, did the invocation. Lesterine Reese-Robinson, ofCleveland, sung the National Anthem before Ken Johnson, of the Ward 2 community, introduced of the first lady.
“This was such a great honor. I can’t believe I was on the stage with Michelle Obama. My family always told me, hard work will pay off. I have been working hard for this campaign and I guess that’s how they chose me for this introduction,” said Johnson.
“I really enjoyed Michelle Obama. She was so smooth, speaking for her husband and our president. I am glad my neighbor convinced me to come hear her speak,” said Ruth Tillman.
With less than 25 days before the election, the first lady left Cleveland with this thought: “As my husband has said, this election will be even closer than the last one. So here’s my last question: Are you ready for this? Are you ready to roll up your sleeves? Twenty-two more days. We can get this done right here in Ohio! Thank you guys. God bless.”