Michelle Obama Sees a ‘Journey’

Photograph by Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

First Lady Michelle Obama on June 5, 2012 at the Newseum in Washington.

“Are there any men here?” first lady Michelle Obama asked.

A few amid the crowd at the “2012 Women for Obama” event called out.

“All right, a few good men,” she said. “Stand proud.”

So many women filled the fundraising event at the Hotel Pierre in New York today that they commandeered the men’s restroom outside the ballroom as well as the ladies’ room.

The $250-per-ticket reception was held for the benefit of the president’s re-election campaign as well as the Demoratic National Committee and state parties. Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richard was in attendance, as was Caroline Kennedy, who must have said something about the first dog before reporters were allowed into the room.

“Yes, we do have a crazy dog,” said Michelle Obama, alluding to Bo, the Portuguese water dog residing at the White House that was a gift of the late Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts. “But he’s very adorable and we wouldn’t know what to do without him.”

Talking about restoring “that basic middle class security for our families” and “basic American values” including “wonderful schools,” she said parents and grandparents must be able to “retire with dignity.” She spoke of growing up in a “little bitty apartment” on Chicago’s South Side, and joked: “My room looks exactly the same.”

The first lady spoke of 27 months of job growth, including private sector job growth, and about the president getting the “auto industry back on its feet again” while forcing insurance companies to cover “things like contraception.” She said: “My husband knows that women need access to the full range of health services.”

Speaking of health care, she also spoke of the “two brilliant Supreme Court justices” her husband appointed.

Predicting a close election — the Gallup Poll has it at 46 percent for Obama, 45 percent for Republican Mitt Romney today, a statistical dead-heat in the daily tracking survey that has held fairly steady since mid-April and even closer since mid-May — the first lady called the contest a “journey” that “is going to be long” and “going to be hard.”

That’s two votes, at least, for the health-care law under review at the court.

“There will be plenty of twists and turns along the way,” she said of the election campaign ahead. “That is how change always happens. We as women know that. Change happens because of women like us who stand up and speak out and work day and night because we know what’s at stake.”

 

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