Michelle Obama photo

Remarks by the First Lady at a Campaign Rally in Des Moines, Iowa

November 05, 2012

MRS. OBAMA: Thank you, guys. Thanks so much.

AUDIENCE: We love Michelle! We love Michelle!

MRS. OBAMA: (Laughter.) And I love you. I love you from the bottom of my heart. And I am beyond thrilled to be here with all of you.

But we have to give some love up for Bruce Springsteen. I mean, gosh. (Applause.) For months, I have heard his songs played at our rallies. But I have to say, there's nothing like seeing The Boss in person. (Applause.) Nothing like it. He has just been tremendous. He and his family and his team, they've just been amazing. So we want to thank Bruce for everything that he's done for us.

And more than anything else, I want to thank you all for being here tonight. I mean, as you know this is a pretty emotional time for us, because this is the final event of my husband's final campaign. (Applause.) So this is the last time that he and I will be onstage together at a campaign rally. And that's why we wanted to come here to Iowa tonight -- (applause) -- because truly this is where it all began, right here.

And I have so many fond memories of this state -- the house parties in Sioux City and Cedar Rapids; celebrating Malia's birthday in Pella; and seeing my husband's face carved in butter. (Applause.) Believe me, we still talk about that at Christmas. (Laughter.)

But I will never forget the kindness and warmth and love that you all showed me and my family, especially our girls. That is truly what made the difference back in those early days when I wasn't so sure about this whole process; back when I was still wondering what it would mean for our girls and our family if Barack got the chance to serve as President.

But the truth is while I had my worries and my fears, I also realized that this decision affected not only me as a wife and a mother, but as a voter, as an American. And I started envisioning the kind of person that I wanted to lead our country. And I knew that I wanted a President with a steady character, with deep compassion and strong convictions. I wanted a President who was smart. (Applause.) I wanted someone we could trust -- (applause) -- someone who would always, always tell us the truth even when it's hard. (Applause.) And I wanted a President driven not by politics or which way the wind is blowing, but by the struggles, hopes and dreams of all Americans. (Applause.)

And the more I thought about it, the more I knew in my heart that I was describing Barack. I knew he could be that President. And for four years, that's exactly what he's done. He has stayed true to himself, and with your help, he's worked day after day to make this country better, to move it forward. He's rescued our economy from the brink of collapse and saved the auto industry. (Applause.) He's passed historic health reform -- (applause) -- ended the war in Iraq. (Applause.) He's fought so women get equal pay and students can afford college. (Applause.) He's fought for our seniors, so that they can retire with dignit;, and our veterans, so that they can give the benefits they earned and the respect they deserve. (Applause.)

For four years, Barack has been fighting to give every single one of us a fair shot at that great American Dream, no matter what we look like or where we come from or who we love. (Applause.) And for four years, we have all seen what I've seen for the past 23 years. We've seen a man of honor and integrity who knows what he believes and stays true to his values. (Applause.) I'm so proud of my husband. We have seen an honest man who knows the facts and always gives it to us straight. We've seen a man whose strength and resolve to build a better tomorrow has never wavered, never.

And that's why I am so thrilled to be here in Iowa tonight -- (applause) -- because long before most people even knew his name, you all saw what I saw. So you did all this crazy stuff. You showed up at campaign offices here in Des Moines and offices all over the state. More importantly, you opened your homes. You held caucus trainings. You marched with us at the Jefferson-Jackson dinner. (Applause.) And then, on a cold January night, you stood up for Barack, because you knew that he would stand up for you. (Applause.)

And over these past four years, our family has been truly blessed -- truly blessed -- by all of the love and support and prayers that we have received from every corner of this country. And Barack has been truly blessed to have all of you by his side as we have worked together to bring that change we can believe in.

It is an honor and a privilege to serve this nation -- just know that. And tomorrow, we get the chance to finish what we started here in Iowa. (Applause.) Tomorrow, all across this state, all across this country, we will line up and vote in libraries and community centers, in school gyms. We're going to knock on doors until our fingers are numb. We're going to make calls until our voices are hoarse. (Applause.) And we won't stop until every voice and every last vote is counted. (Applause.)

And we will do it. We will do it, because while we have come so far, we know that there is so much more to do. And what we really, truly know is that we cannot turn back now. We need to keep moving this country forward. (Applause.)

So that means that we need to reelect the man who has been fighting for us every single day -- my husband, the love of my life -- the President of the United States Barack Obama. (Applause.)

Michelle Obama, Remarks by the First Lady at a Campaign Rally in Des Moines, Iowa Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/320689

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