ABC News’ Devin Dwyer (@devindwyer) reports: On the president’s 50th birthday, First Lady Michelle Obama says her husband’s ever graying hair is “proof” he’s handled his the job well, and deserves re-election in 2012.
“Every day, I see Barack make choices he knows will affect every American family,” Mrs. Obama said in an email blast to supporters. “That's no small task for anyone — and more proof that he's earning every last one of those gray hairs.”
The message is the latest effort by the president’s re-election campaign to use the occasion of Obama’s birthday to energize his followers and, indirectly, encourage the contribution of their time and money in the months ahead.
“This next year will challenge us all to work harder than ever before,” Mrs. Obama said, “but the crucial thing is that you're here now, early on, helping to build this campaign.”
The first lady said she and her daughters wanted supporters to send birthday wishes to the president by signing an electronic card.
“Your names and notes will become part of a book that tells the story of this campaign — who's building it, why we're in this thing, and what he means to us,” she said. “We'll deliver a copy to Barack and send one to our campaign offices across the country.”
The first family will celebrate the president’s milestone birthday at two private events with friends and staff at the White House today. Last night, Obama attended two birthday-themed campaign fundraisers in Chicago and spoke via video conference to more than 1,160 grassroots house parties in his honor around the country.