Obama rally excites Utah voters

Dave Iba
Ast. Photo editor

With only one day before the Utah primary, a little over 1,200 supporters of Barack Obama welcomed his wife for a last-minute rally in the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City.
In place of Barack, his wife, Michelle Obama, visited after he, out of respect for the funeral of the late Gordon B. Hinckley, cancelled his planned Salt Lake City visit last week.
In spite of Barack Obama’s absence, Michelle Obama was greeted with chants of  "Yes, we can," and lifted up signs in support of her husband. "You’re going to make me cry before I even get started," Obama said, thanking the crowd for the emotion of the campaign and the volunteers’ hard and dedicated work.
Obama started her speech by telling how her family was doing during this hectic schedule. "Family is good; the girls are good, and it’s hard to be away from them right now, and I try not to do it too much," Obama said, and added, "but we are doing this for them."
She continued with urging supporters to back her husband in this significant election by assuring them of his ability to diminish poverty and improve health care, public education and international policy.
"When you look at me, I don’t want you to see the next first lady. I want you to see the product of public education," said Obama, praising outstanding teachers and her working-class parents, who sacrificed to send her to Princeton.
Obama said that she and her husband both come from working-class families and have strong Midwest values like many Americans. She said many parents in this country are trying to provide for their families but are coming up short.
"Barack gets it," Obama said. "He understands that our greatest challenge is not that we are suffering from a lack of resources but that we are suffering from a deficit of policy and plans. This is our greatest challenge, right here, right now."
"If you want to see something that needs to be changed, I look at Iraq and call that exhibit A," she said, describing Barack as a proponent of change. Explaining that Barack has never supported the war, she continued, "He is the only one that can help us heal."
In recent years, this administration has caused divisions in this great country, and, as a result, people have become cynical of the government, she said.
"We were fearful and angry as a nation, and our leadership played on those fears," Obama said. "Our troops are stuggling over there, and our leadership has told us to keep shopping."
Mrs. Obama’s visit to Utah may have contributed to her husband receiving 14 of  Utah’s 23 Democratic delegates, leaving former First Lady Hillary Clinton with only 9.