About 1,500 people were fired up to see First Lady Michelle Obama at Upper Dublin High School on Thursday afternoon.
Among them was Dan Siegel. In 2009, Siegel said, his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Siegel, the regional field director for Montgomery County for the Obama re-election campaign, said they were lucky to have full health insurance to cover the costs of his mother's medical expenses. Now, he said, the Affordable Care Act, President Obama's signature legislation, means his mother's illness never will be considered a pre-existing condition and cannot disqualify her for health coverage.
Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro said he and his wife spent time at the White House and were surprised by how much the President and First Lady are like “one of us.”
Shapiro said, “The First Lady gets it – the real challenges of our families.”
“They have done so much for us,” he continued.
“The President and the First Lady aren’t done working for you,” said Shapiro, “I’m working as hard as I can to make it eight [years]. … It’s up to us and up to you to make the difference,” he continued.
Julie Haywood, a local resident, welcomed the First Lady to Upper Dublin High School. After helping on the 2008 campaign, Haywood said she felt compelled to get more involved in her community, so she ran for school board in Cheltenham, where she lives.
“I stand with Obama because he stands with working mothers like me,” said Haywood.
She said she believes "our economy should work for everyone," and with that, she introduced First Lady Michelle Obama.
Obama began by thanking those volunteers who have helped move the campaign forward. During the last campaign, grassroots campaigning was what won the election, she said, adding that that's how "we’re going to do it again."
Obama said her husband is running for a second term “because of our values…the values we believe in…[and] the vision for this country that we believe in.”
Obama said her husband “knows what it means when your family struggles,” because both Obama and her husband grew up in middle class families. The stories that her husband has heard along the campaign trail and during the last three and a half years have kept him going, she said.
“He stood up for our most fundamental rights again and again and again,” said Obama, “All of that’s at stake and so much more.”
“The chance to finish what we’ve started,” she continued.
She said that elections are about the world we want to leave for our children.
“We can’t turn back now, we’ve come so far.”