First lady Michelle Obama speaks at Bradley Tech H.S.

MILWAUKEE — First lady Michelle Obama spoke to hundreds of people gathered at Milwaukee’s Bradley Tech High School Thursday, August 23rd in an effort to bolster President Barack Obama’s campaign for a second term in office.

The first lady spoke to Obama supporters about what she says is at stake in this election for Wisconsinites. She encouraged them to help organize their communities between now and November. As part of the campaign’s new It Takes One effort, the first lady also asked every supporter to help grow Obama for America’s national grassroots network.

The latest polls have shown Wisconsin is looking like an electoral toss-up leading into November. The first lady’s visit Thursday was all about getting voters fired up. The first lady told supporters the 2012 presidential election could hinge on the actions of a single supporter.

“We’re going to need every last one of you! This election will be even closer than the last one — that’s the only guarantee.  In the end, it could all come down to those last few thousand votes,” Michelle Obama said.

To energize supporters, Michelle Obama summarized the accomplishments of President Obama’s first term. She argued the president inherited an economy in free-fall and stabilized it, cut taxes for the middle class, passed national healthcare reform, ended the war in Iraq and went after the nation’s most wanted enemy.

Michelle Obama also told the crowd her personal story — coming from modest beginnings all the way to the White House. It is the story, she says, of the “American Dream.”

Without mentioning soon-to-be formally nominated GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney by name, Michelle Obama used the “American Dream” as a way to contrast President Obama’s vision with Romney’s.

“He believes when you’ve worked hard and done well — and there’s nothing wrong with doing well — when you walk through the doorway of opportunity,  he believes you do not slam it shut behind you,” Michelle Obama said.

“Forward” is Wisconsin’s state motto, and also the theme of President Obama’s campaign for re-election.

The latest Marquette University Law School Poll shows voters are unhappy with the economy this year, but optimistic about next year. So, the question of whether voters focus on what is yet to come instead of what has already happened just may be the key to the 2012 election.

After speaking at Bradley Tech High School, Michelle Obama visited with Sikh Temple shooting victims’ families at Oak Creek High School.

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