At a time when there is so much doubt about the future and apprehension about the global economy, it is refreshing and reassuring to millions of people across America and throughout the world to witness the steadfastness of leadership that daily exudes from the First Lady of the United States of America. Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama has evolved into one of the most admired First Ladies in the history of America.
It is said that what the economy needs more than anything else today is to regain a sense of economic “confidence” by both producers and consumers. But when it comes to how the majority of people feel about First Lady Michelle Obama, there is no lack of confidence and there is no hesitation to salute her dedication to family, nation and to the uplift of humanity. As we are about to enter into the heated national political debates and campaigns of the 2012 national election year, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will be under intense pressures to maneuver through what may be one of the most difficult periods of time to maintain resilience and hope.
I am encouraged and optimistic, however, that President Obama will be reelected if millions of us do what we are supposed to do and that is go out and vote in record numbers 12 months from now. The pivotal role of women who will vote and the critical role of the youth vote will help to determine the outcome of 2012 elections. Herein is where Michelle Obama can be and will be an invaluable asset to President Obama’s reelection campaign.
Recently, the first lady spoke to grassroots campaign workers at the Obama 2012 National Headquarters in Chicago. It was reported that she was enthusiastically received by the campaign workers not only for her charm and motivational spirit, but also for Michelle Obama’s grasp of the challenges ahead of campaign. As a result of her spending time with the workers in the Chicago campaign office, the staff and volunteers were thoroughly reinvigorated. David Axelrod, President Obama’s key political strategist, affirmed, “Her mission is to energize folks and give them encouragement to go out and to the work.”
According to U.S. News & World Report, the first lady “has attended dozens of events with and for veterans and earlier this month announced a program at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce headquarters in Washington to get 100,000 vets hired by American firms.” Michelle Obama continues to be a strong advocate for the support of veterans and their families across the nation. She also is helping to champion passage of the president’s American Jobs Act to put millions of Americans back to work. While the U.S. Congress is taking too long to act or vote on many of the provisions of the American Jobs Act, the clear articulation of support for the Jobs Act by the first lady helps to arouse a groundswell of national support for Congress to act on this important pending legislation.
“Women for Obama” is an initiative by President Obama’s reelection campaign. The purpose of this initiative is to galvanize millions of female voters to be active in the 2012 elections on behalf of President Obama. The honorary chair of “Women for Obama” is First Lady Michelle Obama. In 2008, President Obama received a plurality of votes from the majority of women voters. A CNN exit poll showed that Obama received more than 56 percent of the female in 2008. A large percentage of independent swing voters are also women and the calculus of victory in 2012 will hinge on the largest turnout of female voters and young voters in every state.
At a youth get-out-the-vote (GOTV) rally last month at Ohio State University both the president and the first lady emphasized the importance of the youth vote in helping to continue to change America for the better. The crowd of college students gave a thunderous affirmative response to a question posed by Michelle Obama about the readiness of students and young voters to rise to the occasion again with a large voter turnout. She asked, “Can we do this?” The crowd shouted back with a tremendous roar, “Yes we can!” The Obama 2012 Re-election Campaign made the right move in establishing “Greater Together: Young Americans” initiative that is focused on registering and mobilizing millions of young voters to support President Obama. The National Youth-Vote Director for Obama 2012 Re-election Campaign is Valeisha Butterfield-Jones, a young dynamic leader, who is proving to be another important asset to the president’s re-election efforts. The point here is the first lady is leading the way and young leaders and activists are being inspired every day to defy the negative pundits who are underestimating the growing national support for President Obama.
First Lady Michelle Obama is brilliant, determined, caring, effective and very resourceful. All of us should be responding by lending a helping hand, giving of our time, energy and money, and to make our own contributions to push forward for more progress to ensure the reelection of President Barack Obama. Let’s determine the future by how we act today.
Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr. is senior advisor to the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO) and President of Education Online Services Corporation and the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network (HSAN).