MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Almost 3 thousand people cheered for the Obama campaign and first Lady Michelle Obama, who made a brief campaign stop Tuesday in South Florida.
“With your help, 4 more years,” she told an audience that had waited for hours for her visit. After thanking the campaign volunteers in the audience, she spoke about why Obama wants a second term
“We’re doing this for the vision for this country we all share,”she said. Good schools for all, security for senior citizens, and a safety net for the middle class were all key points.
“These are all basic American values. They are the values we were raised with, including myself,” she said. “Between now and November, we are going to need all of you to get out there and tell everybody that you know that Barack is on our side, fighting for the values we believe in and the vision we all share. You gotta tell them.”
After a quick tour of the accomplishments the Obama administration is claiming with health care, the economy, and social programs. Ms. Obama got to the bottom line.
“All of this is at stake this November. It’s all on the line. All these gains are on the line. In the end it all boils down to one simple question. Are we going to continue the change we’ve begun and the progress we’ve made, or are we going to let everything we’ve fought for just slip away?”
“No. We can’t turn back now,” she said.
Her job was to fire up the troops, and she seemed to deliver.
“Are you in?” she asked to thunderous response. “Are you really in?”
“Get this state done. Get it done in Florida. We need you!”
“She was so uplifting and so awesome, said teacher Brittany Bezada, who got to shake Michelle Obama’s hand. “Even when she was speaking of her daughters she was so emotional and she had tears in her eyes and you could tell it was true and it was genuine.”
“We always thought people who live in the White House are untouchable,” said Ernestine Mike-Petot of Miami Gardens. “You can’t talk to them. You can’t relate to them but when we hear the story, she’s lived the life that I’m living now.”
If the purpose was to energize supporters, it seemed to have worked.
“I guess I got a little burned out,” said supporter Vernatta Dally, who traveled from Boca Raton. “But now I’m really fired up.”
Not everyone is happy about the First Lady’s visit to the school, which is being used Tuesday only for a few adult-education classes located well away from the Obama event.
Miami-Dade School Board member Renier Diaz de la Portilla said Mrs. Obama should not be allowed to appear at the high school since the district has a policy banning political activity in tax funded Miami-Dade public schools.
School Board member Carlos Curbelo has asked the board’s attorney, Walter Harvey, to reconsider his legal opinion which allowed the public school facility to be used by a political campaign.
Both men are Republicans.
However, a check of district policy Tuesday confirmed that the campaign had rented the gym, paying the cash-strapped Miami-Dade district $2300, and that all arrangements were legal under district policy. School officials said denying the campaign the use of the gym would be discrimination.
Diaz de la Portilla asked Superintendent Alberto Carvalho and the senior staff to cancel the event. He also wants the district to come up with policy changes which will the ban on all political activity in public schools.