Chicago Sun-Times
Staff reports on all things politics - from City Hall to Springfield to Washington, D.C.

Recently in Michelle Obama Category

When Michelle Obama said in Chicago Wednesday afternoon that "Hadiya Pendleton was me," saying that she could empathize with the slain teen because of their similar backgrounds, Rush Limbaugh got his hackles up.

Specifically, he took the first lady's statements to the obvious next step, saying that her emotional and powerful speaking out against the violence epidemic in Chicago and the broader U.S. was actually a broadside against democracy, capitalism and the American way of life.

Here's Michelle Obama's full speech:

President Obama today said he recognized that a new background checks bill isn't everything he wanted -- but its a welcome step in the right direction, he said.

Obama said: "I applaud Senators Joe Manchin and Pat Toomey for their leadership on forging a bipartisan agreement around commonsense background checks that will make it harder for dangerous people to get their hands on a gun.

This is not my bill, and there are aspects of the agreement that I might prefer to be stronger. But the agreement does represent welcome and significant bipartisan progress. It recognizes that there are good people on both sides of this issue, and we don't have to agree on everything to know that we've got to do something to stem the tide of gun violence.

Of course, a lot of work remains. Congress needs to finish the job. The Senate must overcome obstruction by defeating a threatened filibuster, and allow a vote on this and other commonsense reforms to protect our kids and our communities. Any bill still has to clear the House. So I'm going to keep asking the American people to stand up and raise their voices, because these measures deserve a vote - and so do the families and communities they're designed to protect."

At an event in Chicago aimed at boosting sports and physical education in schools today, First Lady Michelle Obama came back onto the stage in workout clothes and gave a spirited, passionate pitch to 6,000 Chicago Public School students about not only staying active, but eating right, working hard in school and telling them "it's on you!" to turn off the TV.
Michelle Obama told the students at the event that she, too, grew up on the South Side and knows what it's like to be them.
"I am you!" she screamed to them.
She told them she grew up without much money. Her family lived in a small apartment, she shared a tiny room in an apartment with her brother, Craig. She said it was so noisy sometimes, she couldn't think.
Mrs. Obama told the students it's their choice to eat candy and chips instead of fruits and vegetables.
"You gotta turn off the TV. Move away from the SCREEN!" the First Lady implored.
She told them she got to where she was because she worked diligently in school.
"You got one job at this age and that's to be the best student you can be," Mrs. Obama said. "Do your homework, not just when you feel like it."

While President Obama is co-starring in a horror story with Congress - "The Sequester," complete with Roger Ebert's favorite red countdown clock - Michelle Obama is sticking with the big screen theatrics.

The first lady was a surprise presenter at the Academy Awards Sunday night. Well, not at the show - she actually did her part from the White House. But she helped present the Best Picture award, with co-presenter Jack Nicholson, to "Argo."

Lynn Sweet has details on the back story, as the Hollywood scenesters say.

From the AP report:

Mrs. Obama said all of the nominees demonstrated that "we can overcome any obstacle."

She said that message is "especially important for our young people" and thanked Hollywood for encouraging children "to open their imaginations."

The first lady was introduced by Jack Nicholson, who noted that the Best Picture trophy is usually announced solo.

Mrs. Obama wore a silver, art deco-inspired gown by Indian-born American fashion designer Naeem Khan. It was the same dress she wore for the Obamas' dinner with the nation's governors at the White House Sunday night.

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First lady Michelle Obama, appearing on screen, and actor Jack Nicholson present the award for best picture during the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

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(Obama campaign photo)

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(Obama campaign photo)

WASHINGTON-- First Lady Michelle Obama, sidelined in Chicago because of Hurricane Sandy, on Tuesday visited the Obama for America headquarters in the Prudential Building and did some phone-banking to get-out-the vote in battleground Wisconsin.

I'm told Mrs. Obama was at the HQ between 12:45 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. and at one point delivered a pep talk to hundreds of campaign staffers. She focused her calls at Wisconsin--where Ann Romney and Paul Ryan both campaigned on Tuesday. V

I'm also told Mrs. Obama "thanked staff and volunteers, and wanted "to encourage them to keep up their great work through the homestretch. She also joined volunteers to make a few calls to supporters and learned about the President's early voting advantage in battleground states from senior campaign leadership."

Mrs. Obama spent Sunday and Monday nights in Chicago and will overnight again on Tuesday. She flies back to Washington on Wednesday morning. My post on Mrs. Obama flying to Chicago to get ahead of Hurricane Sandy is HERE.

WASHINGTON--Hurricane Sandy has knocked First Lady Michelle Obama off the campaign trail for Tuesday. She stumped in Iowa on Monday and overnighted in Chicago--where she was also scheduled to be on Sunday night. Mrs. Obama's office said she has no public events on Tuesday and will overnight in Chicago.

President Barack Obama is at the White House on Tuesday and will be off the trail on Wednesday as well.


WASHINGTON--First Lady Michelle Obama--in a change of plans--will fly to Chicago on Sunday and spend the night in her home town in order, I am told, to get ahead of Hurricane Sandy and make her Monday campaign stops in battleground Iowa. President Barack Obama also scrambled is travel schedule and is leaving the White House Sunday night to stump in battleground Florida with Bill Clinton Monday there and in Ohio. Because of the storm, working its way up the east coast, Obama is canceling his northern Virginia stop with Clinton on Monday in order to return to the White House to monitor developments.

Mrs. Obama is also planning to spend Monday night in Chicago. No word yet if she is going to their South Side home.

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Two statuettes depicting President Barack Obama, left, and Republican rival Mitt Romney are backdropped by the Stars and Stripes in a shop which sells Christmas nativity figures in Naples, Italy, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, hours ahead of their third and final presidential debate in Boca Raton, Florida. (AP Photo/Salvatore Laporta)


After a whirlwind three weeks that's seen just about everything we thought we could see in an election, the two major party candidates for President of the United States - Democratic incumbent Barack Obama and GOP candidate Mitt Romney - hold their final debate of the election season tonight. Going into the first debate less than three weeks ago in Denver, Obama was poised for a runaway win barring any major speed bumps. But that's what happend in Denver when Obama put forth a listless, lackluster performance by the president plus a new populist approach from Romney turned things around and put the wind at Romney's back, changing the entire course of the race. A testy, fiery Vice President Joe Biden turned up in the VP debate against GOP nominee Paul Ryan. And last week, Romney and Obama engaged in a heated, electrice debate, the candidates stalking the stage, often circling one another as they unleashed attacks on the other.

Tonight's moderator, CBS' Bob Schieffer, has experience with debates, having moderated one in each of the last two presidential election, and has already announced his list of topics for tonight's debate, centered on foreign policy:

  • America's role in the world
  • Our longest war - Afghanistan and Pakistan
  • Red Lines - Israel and Iran
  • The Changing Middle East and the New Face of Terrorism - I
  • The Changing Middle East and the New Face of Terrorism - II
  • The Rise of China and Tomorrow's World

Tonight should be a lively debate and we've got our best columnists and pundits along to provide live commentary. Below you can find both live video via YouTube of the debate and, below that, the running commentary from the Sun-Times staff. Before we go live at 7:30 p.m. and throughout the debate, take some time to check out some of our other posts about the upcoming election and check out even more coverage at our Election Page.

Bears or Debate? What are you watching?
Roeper: Presidential circus continues
Ghosts of Elections Past: Ohio and Florida
Sifting through presidential endorsements
Googling the next president
Mitt Romney and Barack Obama at last week's Alfred E. Smith dinner
Obama campaign rolls out new "Romnesia" stump speech
FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver on The Daily Show

TEMPLE TERRACE, FL.--President Barack Obama will be the first president to ever vote early in person when he touches down in Chicago Thursday to cast his ballot. Michelle Obama already voted, sending in an absentee ballot to the Chicago Board of Elections. This is all part of an Obama campaign strategy to lock in their vote early.
Early voting starts in battleground Florida on Oct. 276.

From the campaign: " On Wednesday in Davenport, Iowa, President Obama will kick off a two day, around the clock campaign blitz across six battleground states. ....

"After leaving Iowa on Wednesday, October 24, the President will rally voters in Denver, Colorado at the Meadow at City Park, followed by a late night grassroots event in Las Vegas, Nevada. The President will travel overnight to Tampa, Florida for a grassroots rally, and a tarmac event in Richmond, Virginia on Thursday. As the President crisscrosses the nation, he will spend time on Air Force One calling undecided voters, rallying National Team Leaders and volunteers and continuously engaging with Americans across the country about the choice in this election.

"Following the event in Richmond, the President will then travel to Chicago to cast his ballot and make history by being the first sitting President to vote early in person. The President will end his two-day tour with an evening grassroots event in Cleveland, Ohio."

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Obama Temple Terrace, Fl. campaign office. (photo by Lynn Sweet)