Saturday, October 20, 2007

"Photo Blog: Cute Kids Campaign with Michelle Obama"

jhutson's diary on Kos:
This photo blog contains many cute -- some would say adorable -- photos of kids on the campaign trail: you have been warned.---

Senator Barack Obama's wife Michelle and their daughters Malia, 9, and Sasha, 6, were warmly received as they greeted voters at a children's fair today in Londonderry, New Hampshire.

Mack's Apples -- a pick-your-own apple orchard and pumpkin patch -- hosted the family event, along with Congressman Paul Hodes (D-NH), who has endorsed Obama.

While children had their faces painted, ate slices of freshly picked Golden Delicious and Rome apples, and joined in a sing-along, parents politicked on issues of health care, education, jobs, and peace. The highlight of the event was a keynote address by Michelle, who touched on all these issues, but also offered voters some insight into her family life. She talked about her father, a blue collar worker who saved to send her to Princeton and Harvard Law. And she talked about her husband's love of family.

Michelle has said that she fell in love with Barack because of his connection with people. She said that he connected with people as an organizer on Chicago's south side, and that he became a civil rights attorney because he was interested not in making money "but in making change."

She spoke of big changes needed in this country to ensure that our children don't go to war when it can be avoided, and to make sure that our children have adequate and affordable health care, and a quality education that prepares them not only for the job market, but to be our nation's future leaders.

Many of the parents in the crowd brought their infants, toddlers, and young children. There were Obama Mamas, Dads for Obama, and Kids for Obama. One little girl carried a sign that reads, "I'm voting for Kids."

Michelle Obama told them that for her and Barack, family life comes first.

"Barack is an excellent parent," said Michelle. "He never misses a parent-teacher conference. He attends the ballet recitals and soccer games, even with the Secret Service in tow. And we will be trick-or-treating this Halloween."

While Michelle's address was well received, she really hit her stride when she stepped into the crowd and met voters face-to-face. First, her daughter Malia brought her a bottle of water.

Then Michelle patiently spoke to the voters, taking her time and spending several minutes with each one, while the press watched and waited.

Many mothers brought their daughters to meet Michelle.

She in turn introduced her younger daughter Natasha, whose nickname is Sasha.

There seemed to be a genuine connection, because many voters did not just shake her hand; they went for a hug. And Michelle warmly reciprocated, embracing a woman in a wheelchair, many mothers and daughters, and a middle school-aged boy who asked, "Can I have a hug, too?" Of course he could.

And a woman wearing a red T-shirt that said "A child is more than a test score" got a big hug, and spent five minutes talking with the candidate's wife.

There was no rope line and no sense of hurry. For over an hour, Michelle talked with parents and grandparents. She also greeted children, and got down on their level with them. She has a friendly, personal touch that really connects with voters on an emotional level. It would be easy to imagine Michelle Obama not just as First Lady, but as our nation's First Mom.

And there just may be enough Obama Mamas and Papas to make that happen.

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