NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. — First lady Michelle Obama delivered an impassioned defense of her husband’s administration Monday as she urged about 1,200 Democratic activists to get out the vote for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Reid is deadlocked with tea party favorite Sharron Angle (R) on the eve of Election Day. The first lady praised his leadership of the Senate, and she told the energized crowd that canvassing on the Nevada Democrat’s behalf for Tuesday’s election gives crucial support to President Barack Obama and his agenda for the next two years.
The bulk of her 24-minute address focused on the president: his unfinished priorities, his accomplishments thus far, and his personal story, which captivated voters during the 2008 White House campaign.
“We’re not just here because we support Harry — and we do,” the first lady told an enthusiastic crowd inside the Canyon Springs High School gymnasium, for what was billed as the final GOTV event of the 2010 campaign. “We’re here to restore that promise; we’re here to restore that dream. … It is the change [the president] has been fighting for every single day in the White House. Barack knows that too many folks are out of work right now. He knows that too many paychecks just don’t stretch to cover the bills.”
“It’s because of leaders like Harry that so much has been accomplished in such a short time,” she added, even as she acknowledged that the change her husband promised on the campaign trail two years ago hasn’t materialized fast enough for some. “I know that for a lot of folks, change has not come fast enough. But believe me, it hasn’t come fast enough for Barack or for Harry either.”
“I don’t think any of us came into this expecting to see all the change we talked about right away, the minute Barack stepped into the Oval Office,” she said. “But the truth is, it is going to take a lot longer to get ourselves out of this hole. The truth is, this is the hard part of change, but that’s exactly what Barack told us.”
Michelle Obama was preceded on stage by Reid, who asked those assembled to work hard for one more day to help ensure that he defeats Angle, a former state assemblywoman, to win a fifth Senate term. Reid has trailed Angle slightly in recent public opinion polls, but he and his campaign staff are confident that the incumbent’s superior voter turnout operation — considered among the best ever organized for a Senate race — would carry the Majority Leader to victory.
“You need to volunteer with us, to fight for us,” Reid told the crowd. “I’ve fought for Nevada my whole life. But I’m not finished fighting. … I’m not finished fighting for you.”