First Lady Rallies in Wausau
Andy Davis
adavi481@uwsp.edu
On Friday, Oct 19, Michelle Obama visited the Fieldhouse of the University of Wisconsin – Marathon County in Wausau to speak to grassroots supporters of the Obama Campaign.

“What I like about campaign­ing is talking about the man I love, your president. He is handsome and charming and incredibly smart, but that’s not why I married him. I married him because of his heart,” Obama said, opening the speech for her audience.


According to Wausau Fire Marshall David DeSantis, there were 980 attendees in the Fieldhouse and another 600 in an overflow room. Her speech was geared towards women and student voters, two key demo­graphics in this election.


Wisconsin counts for 10 electoral votes, making it one of the crucial Midwest states to win. Before her stop at UWMC, Obama made a visit to speak in Racine, and later Friday evening Bill Clinton spoke in Green Bay.


There were a few speakers who opened for the first lady includ­ing Veteran Jim Palmer, Pastor Steven Wright, WI State Assembly Representative Donna Seidel and Former State Senator Pat Kreitlow. Cynthia Johnson of Rhinelander, a student in the middle of her third year of college, introduced Obama and explained why she is a supporter of President Obama.


“We need a president that will stand up for students like me,” Johnson said. “I know President Obama is looking out for me.”


President Obama has made changes to the federal financial aid system since 2008. As the first lady mentioned, Pell Grant spending has reached $35 billion, an amount that will support about 10 million low-income students. Obama also pushed Congress to postpone scheduled dou­bling of subsidized Stafford loans.

“When it comes to student debt, Barack and I have been there,” Obama said. “Barack worked to ensure that Pell Grant funding was doubled and he fought hard to keep interest rates down on student loans.”

Obama made statements about her husband’s stance on access to healthcare, contraception, and wom­en’s rights. She also spoke about efforts to improve the economy.

“We know very well that cutting Sesame Street is no way to balance the budget,” Obama said. “Yes, we have to make cutes to spending, but we also have to make smart invest­ments.”

President Obama “inherited an economy in rapid decline, but instead of complaining your president got to work,” Obama said. “It is going to take way more than four years to rebuild an economy on the brink of collapse.”

Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney is scheduled to visit Defiance, OH Thursday, Oct 25; he will be in Virginia Beach, VA on Sunday, Oct 28. As of now there are no scheduled stops in Wisconsin for the Romney/ Ryan campaign.

Obama wrapped up her speech by urging voters to vote early and tell all of their friends and neighbors to vote. She said that what happens in the final days of the campaign will absolutely affect the outcome of the election. Her speech ended with a question.

“Are you ready for this? Are you in?” she asked. She was answered by cheering and applause.

The full speech can be viewed on The Pointer YouTube channel here.