Michelle Obama Rallies Women Voters, 'We Have to Work for That Vision'

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - First lady Michelle Obama, accompanied by Jill Biden, rallied women voters on the closing day of the Democratic National Convention here, prodding them to work hard in behalf of her husband's re-election campaign and highlighting White House efforts to advance women's rights.

"The values we are talking about are ones we all hold dear," she said. "That hard work should be rewarded. That's how we were raised. Everyone in this country has something special and valuable and that we should all have a fair chance to succeed if we're willing to put that work in, which we are," Michelle Obama said at the women's caucus meeting.

"There are women all over this country who are doing that work, playing that critical role in making that vision a reality because we have to work for that vision, women. It just doesn't happen."

Jill Biden told the group, "We can't go back and fight the same battles we fought. We've been fighting them for years and even decades and believe me, I'm old enough that I know those fights in the 60s."

Obama explained her husband's dedication to women's issues, saying, "my husband and his partner Joe Biden have had our backs as women every single day."

"He will keep fighting every single day to ensure all of our daughters have no limits to their dreams," the first lady said. "That's over. That there are no second-class citizens in our work place, that's got to be over. That we as women can make our own decisions about our bodies and about our health care, that's over."

As her husband prepares to address the convention this evening, Obama said that the week in Charlotte has been a success and noted, "President Clinton did a phenomenal job" in his speech Wednesday night.

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"I don't know about all of you, but I think we have had a pretty amazing week here in Charlotte," she said. "And from the energy and enthusiasm we're seeing, not just in the caucuses but in the streets, it's just palpable. It's so clear that people are fired up."

Obama asked everyone to prepare for the months ahead, urging the crowd to "rest yourselves because I'm going to ask you to do some work," and encouraged them to recruit their friends, donate to the campaign, and volunteer, especially in battleground states.

"If you don't live in a battleground state, get to one," she said. "We all live near a battleground state, but we don't live in one. Look around, this election is going to be won in those battleground states. This one could come down to those last few thousand votes in a single battleground states."

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