Michelle Obama: Going to Work — Appealing to LGBT Voters

Photograph by Jae C. Hong/AP Photo

Rainbow flags at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.

Michelle Obama, fresh from a convention stage speech about family, life and politics last night that brought some delegates on the floor to tears, spent the morning working to energize key Democratic constituencies, whose support will be critical in the coming election: African Americans, Hispanics and gay voters.

In separate morning remarks to the African-American and Hispanic convention caucuses, and later at a luncheon honoring gay and lesbian lawmakers and delegates, the first lady warned that a serious effort by supporters will be crucial to winning what’s expected to be a close election.

“We don’t have a single minute to waste,” she said at the reception organized by the Human Rights Campaign, a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) advocacy group based in Washington, D.C. “We need you all out there every single day between now and November the 6th.”

The first lady stressed the narrowness of her husband’s win four years ago, noting that the president won North Carolina by 14,000 voters, or five votes per precinct, and Florida by 230,000 votes, or 36 votes per precinct.

“You may finish lunch, but after that I want you all to get out there and think about who your 36 votes are going to be,” she said.

HRC, which is nonpartisan, ran a commercial advocating for same-sex marriage rights during the Republican National Convention in Tampa last week.

Its members, however, overwhelmingly support Obama, according to Fred Sainz, vice president of communications for the group.

Obama this year publicly voiced his personal support for same-sex marriage, which Republican Mitt Romney opposes.

“There’s really not a choice this year,” said Sainz. “People ask if we’re better off than four years ago. For LGBT people, the answer is an unqualified yes.”


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