Michelle Obama Campaigns in Ohio; Husband is in Hawaii with Ailing Grandmother

October 24, 2008 at 3:05 pm Leave a comment

michelle-obama20.jpgThe wife of Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama spoke passionately about her working class roots Friday as she filled in for her husband who has rushed to be with his ailing grandmother.

“So as many of you may know, Barack is off the campaign trail today. He flew to Hawaii last night to see his grandmother, who we call ‘Toot,'” Michelle Obama told a televised rally in Columbus, Ohio. “She is doing OK.”

She credited 85-year-old Madelyn Dunham, who helped raise the Illinois senator, as giving her husband an inner strength that has helped him thrive.

“He said the other night — he said, ‘You know, I got my toughness from Toot,'” she said. “Because she taught him with her quiet confidence and that love and support that he could do anything, just deep love and admiration.”

Campaigning for her husband in the pivotal Midwestern state of Ohio, Obama described with admiration her own parents’ working class values.

“I am the product of a working class family, grew up on the south side of Chicago,” she said. “My father was a city worker. He worked in a shift job his entire life.”

She went on to describe her father’s struggle with multiple sclerosis, which struck him “in the prime of his life,” and how he inspired the family despite his debilitating illness.

Her father was a man “that never complained about his own problems and issues,” she said.

Like many Americans “he got up, he went to work, and every day, he was never late.”

Michelle’s mother and father “were proud of the fact that they could get up and go to work. That was what they enjoy and a sense of meaning.”

“What my father and my background remind me of deeply is that American dream that we are fighting for,” she said.

Her husband’s calls to fix the economy, repair the “broken” health care system and make university education more affordable were “personal” issues, she said.

“This isn’t about politics. This is personal,” she said. “And I know it is personal for every single one of us in this place.”

Michelle Obama has frequently campaigned separately from her husband Barack, 47, who is vying to becoming the country’s first African-American president.

The couple, married for 16 years, has two daughters, Malia, 10 and Sasha, 7.

Source: AFP

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