ABC News’ Jon Garcia reports:
First lady Michelle Obama hit the stump twice in Vermont today to raise cash for her husband’s re-election, effectively doubling the campaign events for the family.
About 900 people paid between $50 and $500 each to hear Mrs. Obama recount how the president convinced her to accept his candidacy in the 2008 race and how “he still owes (her),” according to pool reports from reporters at the event. (President Obama did two of his own in Philadelphia, too.)
“When I started campaigning in places like Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina, it wasn’t just about handshakes and stump speeches. It was about conversations that you could have with people on their front porches, in living rooms, where people would just welcome you in. People who didn’t know anything about you would welcome you into their homes and into their lives,” she said to the crowd at the Burlington Sheraton hotel.
She listed off all the things the administration is taking credit for – from passing health care reform to putting two women on the Supreme Court – and made the argument that President Obama needs to keep going in a second term.
This time around, she said, “the truth is, is that all those folks that we campaigned for, and won for, and that we’ve been fighting for these past two and a half years – those folks still need our help. And that, more than anything, is what drives my husband as President of the United States.”
“I see those quiet moments late at night, and after the girls have gone to bed, and he’s reading the letters that people have sent him. Like the letter from the woman dying of cancer whose health insurance wouldn’t cover her care. The letter from the young person with so much promise but still with so few opportunities,” she said. “See, and these are the things that worry him. This is where the creases and the gray hair — that's where it comes from. I hear the passion and the determination in his voice. He says — he said this the other day — 'You won’t believe what folks are still going through.' He says, ‘Michelle, this is not right. And we’ve got to fix this. We have to do more.’”
And so Mrs. Obama issued the rally cry from two and a half years ago once again: “He needs you to be in this with him for the long haul. He needs you to hold fast to our vision and our values and our dreams for our kids and for our country. He needs you to work like you’ve never worked before,” she said. “I’m in! I am in! I am fired up. I hope you all are fired up. I hope that you are ready to go. And I look forward to working with you all in the months and years to come. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for your work. Let’s keep on moving."