State News

Michelle Obama Wows Crowd at Reynolds Coliseum

Posted April 8, 2008
Updated April 9, 2008

— Michelle Obama campaigned for her husband across North Carolina Tuesday, focusing on a commitment to change.

“I still think it is one step at a time. Barack and I are both focused on the change that needs to happen. And this excitement is important and needs to be harnessed,” she said in Raleigh during her last stop of a daylong tour of the state ahead of its May 6 primary.

Obama spoke to a crowd of about 5,000 at N.C. State University, where she got several standing ovations.

She talked passionately about the rising costs of heath care and about ending the war in Iraq.

Obama urged people to come together “so that we can get universal health care, improve our education system, end the war. There’s so much work we need to do, and we can't do it without that enthusiasm. Because that's the enthusiasm that pushes back special interests and lobbyists. That's the power that can be harnessed,” she said.

Earlier, Obama told a crowd of about 2,000 people at Winston-Salem State University that students are struggling to surpass the standards needed to get into college, only to struggle with the rising costs of tuition. It's no different with the nation's seniors, she said, who are discovering their pensions don't pay enough.

"Folks don't mind working hard," Obama said. "They don't mind a high bar. Some just want to know that the bar will be still – that's all they want to know."

Obama also met Tuesday with a group of about 50 women at a town-hall meeting in Harrisburg, just north of Charlotte.

She also said that it wasn't until Barack Obama wrote a pair of best-selling books that the couple escaped their student loan debt, an experience she said helps them understand everyday challenges better than policymakers in Washington understand them.

"We are not so far away from life that we don't understand and get it," Obama said.

At the Tuesday morning forum, the women said increases in the cost of gas, education and health care – along with an unstable job market – have taken a toll.

"The truth is, most Americans don't want much," Obama said. "Folks don't want the whole pie. Most Americans feel blessed to thrive a little bit – but that's out of reach for them."

Most of the Obamas' income in 2006, when they had $991,296 in annual income, came from royalties on the books. That was down from the nearly $1.7 million they received in 2005, a total also boosted by a book deal. The Obamas have not released their 2007 tax returns, but have pledged to do so later this month.

Obama's rival for the Democratic presidential nomination –- Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York – reported earning $20.4 million along with her husband in 2007. Since leaving the White House, the Clintons have made nearly $109 million, much of it coming from book deals and Bill Clinton's speeches.


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  • RevD Apr 9, 2008

    dmpaltman - The joke is on you. I am mildly amused at the disparaging comments that come because an "uppity" black man has the nerve to be able to speak eloquently and plainly without having to resort to Ebonics or street slang to uplift and inspire all people who are thirsty and hungry for hope. Face it, nothing like this guy has come down the pike in a long time. One with intelligence, restrained wisdom and the education you can't deny if you tried. He is the real deal, and over 11 million white people who have voted for him in the general election votes can't possibly be that wrong. His "promises" resonate with the average American who is not afraid of Change, the opportunity to do something different than what we have chosen and experienced since 1988. We have swilled from the trough of lies, scandal, failed foreign policies, and the loss of our moral leadership in the world long enough. Like it or lump it, Obama is the man we need now to bring us together.

  • dmpaltman Apr 9, 2008

    Obama is a joke period. Great speaker,with a silver tounge. He is full of promises that will hurt America...closing tax loopholes for businesses, will only lay more people off and send more jobs overseas. Raise taxes on the upper class, even though we pay almost 90% of all taxes paid into the IRS. Stop our dependence on Middle East oil...well open up ANWAR and the gulf for drilling, build more refineries. Allow us to go after our own oil.

  • PeaceOut2017 Apr 9, 2008

    This was her second proudest moment in her life

  • bullet656 Apr 9, 2008

    How was that a bold statement? It's common sense and reality. I'm not trying to say all republicans are racists. Look at the whole republican southern stategy back in the day that still going on (google it), reagan and his "states rights" comments, etc. And then the reality...I work in construction w/ a lot of rednecks, all republicans, most racist. My grandfather, who is a lifelong republican and politely racist, told me he would never vote for a "colored" for president. My own girlfriend, a republican herself, told me she would be scared of what would happen if a black man won the presidency.
    By the way, did you see the man introducing mccain the other day, talking about "tiger woods"? Is that not racist?

  • findoutthefacts Apr 9, 2008

    "So what if obama gets a lot of black votes, republicans have always gotten a lot of votes b/c of racism.bullet656"

    Wow - that is a bold statement - have anything to back that up? Or is that more of your "woe is us" blabber?

  • findoutthefacts Apr 9, 2008

    "So that is your reason for thinking it is ok for hillary to be supported mainly by woman without anyone raising an issue on that as much as they are on blacks supporting Obama!!??? No wonder blacks talk about discrimination"southerngirl

    I don't see where I gave my approval of anyone voting for a candidate based on gender or race. Furthermore, I have not seen or heard any Women's groups pushing for Hillary to be president with a total lack of information on all the candidates like I have seen black people blatantly say they are voting for Obama because he is black and have no intention of learning about all the candidates!

  • FloydTurbo Apr 9, 2008

    "Michelle Obama WOWS Crowd"

    WOO HOO .... that crowd doesn't take much to be "wowed". Was the average age 18 and the average IQ not much higher?

  • findoutthefacts Apr 9, 2008

    "Wow, aren't we self-righteous??? BTW -- noone is NOT a word. It's no one. If you're going to be so self-righteous, perhaps you should at least write your statements in English and not make up words.cubed32696"

    Ok, so show me where I used that word?

  • LastRick Apr 9, 2008

    WRAL, why not run the rest of the Michelle Obama quote from Charlotte to be fair: "The truth is, in order to get things like universal health care and a revamped education system, then someone is going to have to give up a piece of their pie so that someone else can have more."

    That's Marxism -- "From each according to his means, to each according to his needs."

  • wolff Apr 9, 2008

    I just wonder when this will actually be about the issues? Obama Hussein hardly mentioned it and Hillary Rodham's tried but no one listened... All you hear about is race then gender then any sensationalism the media props up.