Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Michelle Obama to speak at Lawrence University

First lady Michelle Obama plans to drum up support among Democratic voters when she speaks Friday at Lawrence University.

Mrs. Obama’s visit to Appleton will be an attempt energize the base, grow the grassroots effort and promote voter registration, according to a campaign release.

The free event will be held in Alexander Gymnasium on the Lawrence University campus. Doors will open at 1 p.m.

Because space is limited, tickets are being issued on a first-come, first-serve basis at three Organizing for America field offices in Appleton, Green Bay and Oshkosh.

Friday’s stop in Appleton will mark Mrs. Obama’s first trip to Wisconsin since August when she visited the families of the Sikh temple shooting near Milwaukee. The trip will also come less than a week after her husband, President Barack Obama, made a campaign stop in Milwaukee on Saturday.

Kenneth Mayer, a political science professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said as long as the President Obama and Mitt Romney campaigns continue to invest in Wisconsin, it means both sides think the state is still up for grabs.

USA Today identifies Wisconsin as one of at least 12 swing states that are key to the election’s outcome.
In a Gallup poll released last week, Obama edged the Republican candidate 48 to 46 percent among registered swing-state voters.

Mayer called the first lady an “asset” to the Obama campaign — a person who can reach out to Democratic supporters.

“She’s an important symbol for women,” Mayer said. “She’s a very, very good campaigner.”
Kaukauna resident Cindy Fallona, an Obama campaign volunteer, thinks Mrs. Obama will energize local supporters during her Appleton visit.

“I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to have a woman of her stature coming to Appleton,” Fallona said.
The 60-year-old Obama supporter said she had a chance to shake the first lady’s hand during a luncheon for former U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold in 2010 ­— a moment she “will always treasure.”

Whenever she sees Mrs. Obama speak, the first lady always carries her message forcefully and in a positive manner, Fallona said.

The Kaukauna resident will not be attending Mrs. Obama’s visit on Friday due to a family wedding in Maine, but she has no doubt the first lady will bring words of wisdom to all voters.

“I know that Appleton will give her a warm welcome,” she said.


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