Cody Cousino / Photo editor
First Lady Michelle Obama reflected on values, her life as a mom and her childhood during a rally kicking off her husband’s re-election campaign on Ohio State’s campus Saturday.
Officials said about 14,000 people gathered at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus for President Barack Obama’s “Ready to Go” Rally.
Michelle Obama appeared in one of her signature dresses, hued in deep sky blue to match the colors of her husband’s campaign trail.
“Well it sounds like you all are already fired up and ready to go here today,” Michelle Obama said with a laugh when she first took the podium.
But Michelle Obama went on to speak about more serious issues, such as her family growing up and their hardships.
“My father was a blue-collar worker at the city water plant and my family lived in a little bitty apartment on the south side of Chicago,” she said. “Neither went to college. But they saved and they sacrificed. They poured everything they had into me and my brother.”
The First Lady talked about her father’s struggle to pay for her college education, though she said he sincerely valued her education because he wanted better for her than he had himself.
“While pretty much all of my college tuition came from grants and student loans, my dad paid as much tuition himself that he could,” she said. “Every semester, my dad was determined to pay that bill on time.”
The message Michelle Obama said she wanted to get out to Ohioans was that of her family’s values, emphasizing them several times during her twenty-minute speech.
“That’s what I think about when I tuck my girls in at night. I think about what I want to leave for them,” the First Lady said. “I want for them what my dad wanted for me.”
Michelle Obama went on to talk about how she gets to see up close and personal the decisions her husband has to make on a daily basis.
“These problems have no clear solutions,” she said. “When it comes time to make that decision, all you have to guide you are your life experiences, your values and your vision for this country.”
Michelle Obama touched on Barack Obama’s background, being raised by a single mother and the hard work and struggles that his grandmother faced.
“In the end when you’re making those impossible choices, it all boils down to who you are and what you stand for, and we all know who Barack Obama is,” she said. “We all know what our President stands for, right?”
Michelle Obama launched a campaign to fight childhood obesity in 2010, promoting healthy eating and exercise for America’s children. Her “Let’s Move!” campaign has recently come under fire, criticized of promoting bullying in schools.