In close race, Pres. Obama turns to first lady for help

By Matthew Daly

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 24 2012 3:36 p.m. MDT

"Your vote matters in places like North Carolina and Ohio and Wisconsin," Bird said, adding that the first lady stresses the importance of volunteer efforts to push people to vote and generate enthusiasm for the campaign.

In Racine, Mrs. Obama repeatedly engaged the audience in a friendly, even intimate way. One of her favorite parts of the campaign is being able to praise her husband without him hearing, she told the crowd: "So don't tell him how much I really love him. I kind of keep that leverage. That's between you and me."

Outlining her husband's efforts to rebuild the economy, she said manufacturers have added 500,000 jobs. "Do you hear me?" she asked, one of 11 times she used the phrase.

Interviews with voters produced enthusiastic reviews. Nearly all used the same word: "inspiring."

"I'm ready to go to work," said retiree Melissa Warner, of Caledonia, Wis. A member of the Sierra Club, Warner said she will volunteer at phone banks for the environmental group and the Obama campaign.

Shanon Molina, 32, of Kenosha, Wis., also was ready to volunteer. She said her favorite part of the speech was when the first lady said, "Don't let anyone talk down your dreams."

"I put that on Facebook" even before the speech ended, Molina said.

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