More than 1,500 people were fired up on Thursday to see First Lady Michelle Obama at the Upper Dublin High School gymnasium.
Dan Siegel, the Montgomery County regional field director for Obama's re-election campaign, told the audience that in 2009, his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. He said they were lucky to have full health insurance to cover to costs of her medical expenses. However, he added that the Affordable Care Act, passed by President Obama, means his mother's illness will never be considered a pre-existing condition and cannot be grounds for denial of 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.”
“The First Lady gets it – the real challenges of our families," Shapiro said. “They have done so much for us."
“The president and the First Lady aren’t done working for you,” Shapiro continued. “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."
Julie Haywood, a local resident, welcomed the First Lady to Upper Dublin High School. Haywood said after helping on the 2008 campaign, 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. She said that during the last campaign, grassroots campaigning was what won the election, and she told the crowd that “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.”
The First Lady also said her husband “knows what it means when your family struggles,” because both Obama and her husband grew up in middle class families. She added that the stories that her husband has heard along the campaign trail and during the last three and a half years have kept him going.
“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."
As the speech drew to a close, the First Lady drove home that elections are about the world we want to leave for our children.
“We can’t turn back now, we’ve come so far.”
Editor's note: Special thanks to Patch user for adding his fantastic photos to our gallery! If you have your own photos from the event, feel free to add them as well!