CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Fresh off her prime-time Democratic National Convention speech, First Lady Michelle Obama rallied an enthusiastic crowd Wednesday morning at the DNC Black Caucus to get out the vote during what she stressed would be a close election.
Donning a turquoise, sleeveless dress, Obama revisited her comments from the night before and reminded the excited crowd of how important their participation is this cycle. Either in appreciation for the first lady’s efforts or to get a better look at her, many of the attendees continued standing as she began to speak.
“The energy, the enthusiasm we saw last night made it clear that folks are pretty fired up,” Obama said to raucous cheers. “But more importantly last night truly set the stage for what’s at stake in this election, and what we need to guide us forward for the next four years.”
Obama said that her husband’s vision is one of inclusion and access for all Americans to contribute and succeed, and attempted to remind the audience of how hard the president is working for them and the country.
“You know that all of that and so much more is at stake this election and you’re here because you believe, like I believe, that my husband has been an extraordinary president,” she said to the Black Caucus. “More importantly he has the vision, the character, the wisdom, the judgment the heart and the soul, the experience to keep moving this country forward for four more years.”
The first lady also said that the election is about more than just the candidates and current issues, but rather about a larger theme of where they want the country to go.
“It’s about how we want our democracy to function for decades to come. It’s about the lessons we want to teach our kids and our grandkids, what we want them to learn as they watch these campaigns and they see those results on November the sixth and we need to step back and ask ourselves, do we want to give a few individuals a far bigger say in our democracy than anyone else?” she said. “No,” the crowd responded.
“Do we want our elections to be about who buys the most ads on T.V.? Do we want our kids and our grandkids to walk away from this election feeling like ordinary, hard working voices can no longer be heard in this country?” she said to another “no” from the crowd. “Or are we going to show our kids that here in America we all have an equal voice in the voting booth?”
After walking through the long-term importance of electing her husband in 2008, Obama explained how close this election is, and implored the rapt crowd to work hard to get out the vote — especially in swing states.
“This election is about battleground victories,” she said pointedly. “If you don’t live in a battleground state, get to one! Find the nearest battleground state and go spend some time there. You can even make calls from your home to battleground states through our campaign.”
She added that people should be writing checks to the campaign, maxing out their donation capacities, and reaching out to everyone they know to vote Obama.
“This election is going to be even closer than the last one,” she said, explaining that even in 2008 the campaign her husband won by just a few thousand votes in states like Florida and North Carolina.
“Don’t forget that we won North Carolina by just 14,000 votes,” she said. “Now that is just 5 votes per precinct. That’s five, five people.”
According to Obama, how they answer her call to get out the vote will make “the difference between waking up on November 7 and asking yourself could I have done more or feeling the promise of four more years.”
The first lady ended her speech by urging the crowd to “roll-up their sleeves” and get Obama back in office. “Four more years!” the crowd chanted as Obama left the stage to Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground.”