Michelle Obama

Campaigning for Hillary Clinton in Philadelphia - Sep.28, 2016

Michelle Obama
September 28, 2016— LaSalle University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Hillary Clinton Campaign Rally
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Hey! Oh my goodness! Woah! There is some excitement up in here, huh? I’m excited too!

Let's get started because we are going to talk about somethings. But first of all I am thrilled to be here today to support the next President and Vice President of United States, Hillary Clinton and Tim Kain!

Yes! But I'm going to start with a few thank you’s. First of all I want to thank Ludmill. I mean are all you student like her? She’s amazing and I know you all are too. Let’s give her a round of applause. I also want to recognize you are your U.S. Senate candidate. Katie McGinty. Katie’s here. Your U.S. House of Representatives candidate Dwight Evans. Your candidate for attorney general Josh Shapiro. Your state senator Art Haywood, and city councilwoman Cindy bass.

I know you all heard from them earlier today. So let's thank them for being here and let's wish them luck on the future. We're going to get a lot of things got done, but most of all I want to thank all of you here at LaSalle University. I have heard some great things about the school and about the students and staff, so I am so proud I am honored to be here.

Now, it's hard to believe—well hey—I see you all over there. I love you all too. But we’ve got work to do here today. Because it is almost one month to Election Day, and I cannot believe it. Air. And it's about time for my family to end our time in the White House. It’s alright! It’s alright! Two terms! It’s a reason, it’s a good thing. It's a good thing, but I have to tell you even though we've had a great time and this is a bittersweet time for me. I mean because we are engaged in a time of great transition for me, for Barack, Malia and Sasha even Bo and Sunny. I mean what are they going to do when we leave? My husband got to find a new job. I have to find a new job. We've got to move to a new home. We're going to need to pack. We got pack up the old house to get it cleaned up so we can get our security deposit back.

But of course this isn't just a time of transition for my family but for our entire country as we decide who our next president will be, and transitions like these can be difficult. They can involve a lot of uncertainty, and we saw that back in two thousand and eight when it was first elected. I don't know if you all remember especially that little one there. You weren't even born. But back then people had all kinds of questions about what kind of president Barack would be. Things like: does he really understand us? Will he protect us? And then of course there are those who question and continue to question for the past eight years whether my husband was even born in this country. And let me say hurtful, deceitful questions-- deliberately designed to undermine his presidency-- questions that cannot be blamed on others or swept under the rug by an insincere sentence uttered at a press conference. Let me take a moment. But during his time in office, I think Barack has answered these questions with the example he set, and the dignity he's shown by going when high when they go low.

And he’s answered those questions with the progress we've achieved together. Progress like health reform, passing health care, creating millions of jobs, slashing the unemployment rate, lifting millions of people out of poverty, expanding LGBT rights so marriage equality is now the law of the land. I could go on. But even after all this progress, it's understandable that folks are feeling a little uncertain as we face this next transition. So the question is how do we sort through all the negativity, all the name calling in this election and choose the right person to lead our country forward?

Well as someone who has seen the presidency up close and personal, let me share with you what I've learned about this job. Lessons that seem even more relevant even more critically important after watching Monday's debate.

First and foremost, this job is hard. It is the highest stakes, most 24/7 job you can possibly imagine. The issues that cross the president's desk are never easy, and solutions to persistent systemic challenges are never black and white. I just think about the crises this president has faced these last eight years. In his first term alone, Barack had to rescue our economy from the worst crisis since the Great Depression. He had to make the call to take out Osama bin Laden. Respond to devastating natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy and so much more. So when it comes to the qualifications we should demand in a president, to start with we need someone who will take the job seriously. Someone who will study and prepare so that they understand the issues better than anyone else on their team. And we need someone with superb judgment in their own right because the president can hire the best advisors on earth, but I guarantee you that five advisors will give five different opinions and it is the president and the president alone who hallways has to make the final call.

We also need someone who is steady and measured. Because when making life or death of war or peace decisions a president just can't pop off or lash out irrationally. No, we need an adult in the White House. I guarantee you.

And finally we need someone who is compassionate. Someone who will be a role model for our kids. Someone who's not just in this for themselves but for the good of this entire country-- all of us. See, at the end of the day, as I've said before, the presidency doesn't change who you are it reveals who you are. And the same is true of a presidential campaign. U.S. presidential campaigns are very long-- nearly two and a half years for half of one presidential term. Just think about that. So if a candidate is erratic and threatening. If a candidate traffics and prejudice fears and lies on the campaign trail. If a candidate thinks that not paying taxes makes you smart, or that it's good business when people lose their homes. If a candidate rarely and flippantly makes cruel and insulting comments about women. About how we look. How we act.

Well sadly, that’s who that candidate really is. That is the kind of president they will be, and trust me a candidate is not going to suddenly change once they are in office. Just the opposite in fact, because the minute that individual takes that oath they are under the hottest, harshest light there is. And there's no way to hide who they really are. But see at that point it's too late. They are the leader of the world's largest economy, Commander in Chief of the most powerful military force on earth. With every word they utter they can start wars, crash markets, fundamentally change the course of this planet.

So who in the selection is truly ready for that job? Who do we pick? Well for me, and I hope there are some who are still deciding here, but for me it's very clear that there is only one person in this race who we can trust with those responsibilities. Only one person with the qualifications and temperament for this job and that person is our friend Hillary Clinton.

So let me tell you why. We know that Hillary is the right person because we have seen her character and commitment, not just during this campaign but over the course of her entire life. We've seen her dedication to public service. How after law school she became an advocate for kids with disabilities. She fought for children's health care as First Lady, and for quality child care as a Senator. And when she didn't become president in 2008, Hillary didn't throw in the towel. No she once again answered the call to serve and earned a sky high approval ratings for the outstanding job she did for us as our Secretary of State. And for those who question her stamina to be president. Hillary's resilience is more than proven as she said on Monday night, she is the only candidate in this race who has traveled to one hundred twelve countries, who's negotiated a cease fire, a peace agreement, a release the dissidents, who’s spent eleven hours testifying before a congressional committee. Hillary is tough. And when she gets knocked down she doesn't complain. She doesn't cry foul. No, she gets back up. She comes back stronger for the people who need her most.

And here's what's also true: Hillary is one of the few people on this entire planet, and clearly the only person in this race, who actually has any idea what this job entails. Who's seen it from every angle, the staggering stakes, the brutal hours, the overwhelming stresses. And here's this thing: she still wants to do this job because she believes that she has an obligation to use her talents. What do we teach you all? To use your talents to help as many people as possible. That's why Hillary Clinton is running. See now that's dedication. That's what love of country looks like.

So when I hear folks saying that they don't feel inspired in this election. I have to disagree. See because for eight years I have seen what it takes to actually do this job. And here's what I know for sure, right now we have an opportunity to elect one of the most qualified people who has ever endeavored to become president. Hillary has been a lawyer, a law professor, the First Lady of Arkansas, First Lady of the United States, a U.S. Senator, Secretary of State. That's why I'm inspired by Hillary. I'm inspired by her persistence, her consistency, and her heart and by her guts.

I'm inspired by her life long record of public service. No one in our lifetime is ever had as much experience and exposure to the presidency: not Barack, not Bill, nobody. And yes she happens to be a woman. So trust me Pennsylvania experience matters, preparation matters, temperament matters, and Hillary Clinton has it all. She's the real deal. I have come to know her very well over the years, and I know that she is more than ready more than able to be an outstanding president for all of us.

So we cannot afford to squander this opportunity. Particularly given the alternative, because we know that being president isn't anything like reality T.V. It is not an apprenticeship, and it is not just about fiery speeches or insulting tweets, it's about whether someone can handle the awesome responsibility of leading this country. So as you prepare to make this decision. I urge you to ignore the chatter and the noise and ask yourselves: which candidate really has the experience, the maturity, the temperament to handle this job?

Which candidate’s words and actions speak to the values we share? Values like inclusion, opportunity, sacrifice for others, because your answers to these questions on Election Day will determine who sits in the Oval Office after Barack Obama. And let's be clear elections aren't just about who vote, but who doesn't vote. And that is especially true for young people like all of you.

In fact in 2012, voters under the age of thirty—yay for you all, that’s not me-- you provided the margin of victory for Barack in four key battleground states: Florida, Ohio, Virginia, and right here in Pennsylvania. You all did it. Without those votes, Barack would have lost those states, he would have lost the election. Period. End of story. And for any of you who might be thinking that you are one vote doesn't really matter, or that one person can really make a difference, consider this: back in 2012 Barack won Pennsylvania by 300,000 votes. Which sounds like a lot, but see when you break that number down the difference between winning and losing the state was only seventeen votes per precinct. Take that in. Seventeen votes. That's how presidential elections are won and lost on five votes, seventeen votes per precinct.

So the fact is that each of you here in this auditorium in this special place. We're in a gym, right? I got confused. But each of you can swing an entire precinct and win this election for Hillary just by getting yourself, your family, your classmates out to vote. That's all you have to do. You can do it. You have the power. But you could also help swing an entire precinct for Hillary's opponent with a protest vote, or by staying home out of frustration because here's the truth: either Hillary Clinton or her opponent will be elected president this year. And if you vote for someone other than Hillary, or if you don't vote at all, then you are helping to elect Hillary's opponent. And the stakes are far too high to take that chance.

Remember it is not about voting for the perfect candidate. There is no such person. In this election, it's about making a choice between two very different candidates with very different visions for our nation. So the question is do you want Hillary Clinton to be your president or do you want her opponent to be your president? That is the choice in this election. And if you choose Hillary, like I am and have and will, then we have to get to work. And it is not enough to come to a rally and post some selfies-- and that's all cute and whatnot, my kids do it all the time-- it's not enough to get angry and just speak out about the need for change. We all must take action to elect folks who will stand with us to make that change. That's your job. So we need you to get yourselves and everyone you know registered to vote today. And we have volunteers here who will help you when this is all over. If you're feeling fired up, and even if you're not, go find them and get registered before you leave.

And then we need you to roll up your sleeves because voting just part of it. We need you to make calls, knock on doors, get folks out to vote on Election Day. Again you can sign up with one of the Hillary campaign folks who are here today I want to see the numbers here go up when I leave. And as you start working your hearts out for Hillary, if you start to feel tired or discouraged by all the negativity in this election, if you just want to hide under the bed and come out when it's all over. I just want you to remember what's at stake it particularly for young people because the choice you make on November 8th will determine whether you can afford your college tuition. It will determine whether you can keep your health care when you graduate.

On November eighth you all will decide whether we have a president who believes in science and will come back climate change, or not. A president who will honor our proud history as a nation of immigrants, or not. A president who thinks that women deserve the right to make our own choices about our health, or not.

That’s just a taste of what’s at stake. So we can't afford to be tired or turned off. Not now because while this might feel like a time of uncertainty and division., let me tell you I have never felt more hopeful about the future of this great nation and its because I know you all are young people. I feel that way because for the past eight years I've had the great honor of traveling from one end of this country to the other. I have met people from every conceivable background and walk of life. And time and again I have seen proof of what Barack and I have always believed in our hearts that we as Americans are fundamentally decent, good people and we all truly want the same things.

Time and again Barack and I have met people who disagree with just about everything we have ever said, but who welcome us into their communities. Folks who are open hearted and willing to listen respectfully. And while we might not change each other's minds, we always walk away reminded that we're not all that different.

See millions of folks in this country are working long hours to send their kids to college. Just like my mom and dad did for me. They're helping to raise their grandkids. Just like the Barack’s grandparents did for him. They're teaching their kids the exact same values that Barack and I are trying to teach our girls. That you work hard for what you want in life, that you don't take short cuts, that you treat people with respect even if they don't look or think like you, that when someone is struggling you don't turn away from them. You certainly don't take advantage of them. No, you imagine walking a mile in their shoes that and you do what you can to help. That's what we're trying to teach our kids, because that's what we do when America. A country where a girl like me from the South Side of Chicago, who's a great-great-grandfather was a slave, can graduate from some of the finest universities on earth. We live in a country where a biracial kid from Hawaii, who was the son of a single mother, can become president. We live in a country that’s always been a beacon for people who have come to our shores and poured their hopes and their prayers and their back breaking hard work in the making us who we are today.

So let me tell you especially our young people don't let anyone ever take away your home. Don't let them do it. That's what makes America great. And we deserve a president who can see those truths in us. A president who believes that each of us is part of the American story and we're always stronger together. A president who can bring out the best in us our kindness, our decency courage, our determination, so that we can keep respecting our union and passing those blessings of liberty down to our children. Hillary Clinton will be that president. And from now until November, I am going and elected we need you as the door on this election of being this country forward. So my question to you is are you with me? We need you fired up! This is on you! You can all make this difference. Can we make it happen?

Thank you all. God bless.