WASHINGTON — Taking on a more prominent political role, first lady Michelle Obama is launching a nationwide effort to motivate every supporter of President Barack Obama to get more involved in his re-election campaign — and bring along somebody else, too.
The "It Takes One" program urges supporters to make a difference in this election, and to "start by taking one action that will help grow our campaign," Mrs. Obama says. In a three-minute video message to supporters being released Thursday, the first lady tells supporters that with a tighter election than 2008 likely this fall, "in the end it could all come down to those last few thousand votes in a single state."
"Every time you take action to move this country forward, we're asking you to inspire one more person to join you as well," she says. "That could be the difference between waking up on Nov. 7 and feeling the promise of four more years or asking yourself, 'Could I could have done more?'"
The video opens with Mrs. Obama recalling her husband's first campaign for the Illinois legislature, when the newly married couple would take friends along when they went out to collect petition signatures to get Obama on the ballot.
"Help one new voter get registered through GottaVote.org, recruit one more volunteer, or bring a friend to the next phone bank you attend," Mrs. Obama says. "If we all commit to finding at least one way to make an impact, we can ensure that we'll keep moving this country forward for another four years."
The Obama campaign said Mrs. Obama would lead the "It Takes One" effort, which will include digital, paid media and grassroots organizing. Campaign officials said Mrs. Obama would be the face of the effort and personally participate in many It Takes One events as she travels the country, recruiting neighborhood team leaders, speaking to groups of women to ask them to volunteer and stopping by voter registration events.
That represents a significant increase in the first lady's role in the campaign. Already, she has been traveling the country to raise money for the campaign, and making appearances at rallies designed to energize volunteers and supporters.
Mrs. Obama, whose high favorability ratings are a big asset to the campaign, was known during the 2008 presidential race as "the closer," for her ability to persuade undecided voters to come on board and her success at motivating supporters to get more involved.
The first lady planned to formally launch the It Takes One program during campaign stops Friday in Virginia, a battleground state in this fall's election. The first lady will speak at a campaign event for women in Charlottesville, and to grassroots supporters in Fredericksburg.
Obama's campaign also plans to launch local It Takes One efforts in battleground states to engage new volunteers.