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First Lady urges supporters to ramp up their re-election efforts in Florida

9:11 PM, Sep 17, 2012   |    comments
First Lady Michelle Obama gives a thumbs up to supporters at a campaign rally in Tallahassee as she receives a rock-star welcome. The First Lady shouted, "This is amazing!"
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Tallahassee, Florida - First Lady Michelle Obama campaigns for her husband in Florida and challenges supporters to get out and work for his re-election.

The First Lady spoke to about 10,000 people at the Leon County Civic Center Monday night following a campaign stop at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

She received a rock-star welcome when she walked into the auditorium and seemed surprised by the thunderous applause and cheering. At one point she threw up her hands and said, "This is amazing!"

Mrs. Obama really revved up the crowd when she repeated a campaign slogan, asking if they were fired up and ready to go in the final 50 days on the campaign.

Generating new enthusiasm, especially among college students, is a continuing goal for the Obama campaign. But that effort could be tougher this election as the unemployment rate remains high among young adults.

President Obama won Florida in 2008 by 236,000 votes. The First Lady said that translated to 36 votes per precinct and winning a precinct might mean getting just a single vote in a dorm or apartment building.

"Just a few of you here could swing an entire precinct for Barack Obama and if we win enough precincts we will win this state and if we win Florida we'll be well on our way to putting Barack Obama back in the White House for four more years."

Michelle Obama echoed some of the same themes from her convention speech. She said her husband's values have guided him on the job and motivated him to fight for health care reform, tax cuts for working families and equal pay for women.

The First Lady said the president helped get the auto industry back on its feet. She added that while the economy still has a long way to go, the country has posted 30 straight months of private sector job growth.

She offered some advice to supporters when they're asked what the president has done for the country.

"Tell them about the millions of jobs Barack created. Tell them about health reform that he passed. Tell them about all those kids who can finally afford a college education. Tell them about how Barack ended the war in Iraq. Tell them how together we took out Osama bin Laden. Tell them how Barack has fought to get veterans and military families the benefits they've earned."

Tickets for Mrs. Obama's speech in Tallahassee sold out within hours. Florida Democratic Party Chairman Rod Smith praised Michelle Obama for tackling some tough issues as First Lady.

"I know of very few people who I think have ever stood out like she has stood out as an individual as the First Lady. We're talking about someone who has really taken on issues of great importance and great substance."

The First Lady has launched programs focusing on the problem of childhood obesity and making sure military families get the benefits they've earned.

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