Waiting a couple hours for the First Lady of the United States did not seem to deflate nearly 3,000 supporters who showed up for a grassroots presidential campaign rally at Barbara Goleman Senior High School in Miami Lakes on Tuesday.
Huge cheers erupted when Michelle Obama took the stage in a very Miami green floral dress -- despite trumped-up opposition to the event from two Republican School Board members -- leaving Mrs. O laughing at the podium until the crowd quieted down.
Thousands of men, women and children of all ages and races listened and cheered as Obama touted her husband's achievements in his first 3 years in office: the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", the Supreme Court's upholding of his health care act, and the withdrawal of troops in Iraq, among others.
"All of this is at stake this November, it's all on the line, all the gains are on the line," Obama told the crowd, warning that the November election may come down to just a few thousand votes.
With that, she encouraged the crowd to help others register to vote and continue with grassroots campaigning: "Multiply yourselves," she told supporters.
After she finished, HuffPost waded through the crowd and asked 11 ralliers what part of the First Lady's speech struck them most:
"Making sure [our children] have the opportunity to have an education. My belief is if they have an education, we will be able to get all of the other things we need."
"Leaving a legacy for our kids, bringing back the middle class. Also, our children." Ladson has been laid off twice since she graduated from Howard University and hopes that the job market improves for working Americans.
"I loved what she had to say about education... I really thought she hit all the hot spots."
"The fact that we all need to work together to get [Obama] reelected... Change, it's basically up to us."
"When she told us to do our homework. She told us to work hard." Fourteen-year-old Collin's mother was laid off around the time that President Barack Obama was campaigning, and she scraped together all her money to take him to Washington, D.C. for the inauguration. At Michelle Obama's speech, Collin was able to shake her hand.
"Senior exploitation. I told [Michelle Obama] if she can get me a meeting with her husband and he abolishes guardianship laws, I will get him 300,000 votes." After a personal tragedy, Dr. Robert Sarhan said he has been fighting for power of attorney for those who are unable to manage their estates due to illness or age. As for Robert Sarhan, Jr., 7, he said the most important part of Obama's speech was when she talked about, "Kids doing their homework and making the Earth a better place."
"How the kids have to put their education and school first." The 11-year-old brought her homemade sign to the event.
"That this election could come down to thousands of votes."
"Women's issues, especially about equal pay. I'm retired but I've been fighting for it since 1971."
"When she talked about her mother and father and how she grew up. I grew in a tenement in the Bronx, and I got an education, came here, and became an art teacher. You can become someone even if you're not rich."
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