TRANSCRIPT: Michelle Obama Speaks at HRC/Victory Fund Luncheon at DNC

“If you do not live in a battleground state, get to one,” said First Lady Michelle Obama to an excited crowd at the Human Rights Campaign/Victory Fund luncheon on Wednesday.

BY Julie Bolcer

September 05 2012 4:00 PM ET

So here’s what I want you to think about:  If you do not live in a battleground state, get to one.  (Laughter.)  Get your suitcase, pack it up, get a car, do something, find that neighbor -- get to a battleground state.  If you can afford it, write a check -– and if you haven’t maxed out, max out.  Max out.  (Laughter and applause.)

But the more powerful thing that you can do is that you can make sure that every single person that you know -- truly, leave no stone unturned; those friends, those neighbors, that nephew or niece who is kind of wayward and maybe you haven’t seen them since Christmas -- (laughter) -- that college roommate you haven’t spoken to in a while -- yes, see, you’re looking.  You know that guy, don’t you?  (Laughter.)  Call him.  Make sure that every single one of them gets to the poll and casts their votes.

Because, as Barack has said, this election is going to be even closer than the last one.  And quite frankly, all of these elections are close.  Since I have been an adult paying attention to this stuff, they’re always close.  But in the end, this election, like many, could come down to that last few thousand votes in a single battleground state.  And what I’ve been doing is just sort of trying to put that in perspective, because when I see the numbers it’s pretty telling about how much power individuals have.

But if you think back to what happened in 2008, Barack then -- back then we won Florida by about 236,000 votes, okay?  (Applause.)  And while that might sound like a lot, when we break that down, that’s just 36 votes per precinct.  Think about that -- just 36 votes in a precinct.  So where you live, that means -- if where you live, you are pulling out 36, 40, 50 new people, you might be the person that carries the day in the state of Florida.  And if you think that’s close, don’t forget that we won North Carolina by just 14,000 votes, which means just five votes per precinct.  Five votes per precinct!  That’s what makes the difference.

So no one here can sit back and say, “I can’t possibly have an impact in this election,” because that is absolutely not true.  Everyone here can really, truly make a difference.  So starting the minute that you get up out of these chairs -- whenever that’s going to be, because you still have food -- (laughter) -- you may finish lunch -- (laughter and applause) -- but after that, I want you all to get out there and think about who your 36 votes are going to be.  Get out there.  Find out who are your five votes.  Then when you get that 36 or you get that five, then get five more, and then get five more, and again and again, and don’t stop until the polls close on November the 6th.

Because what we all do every day for the next 62 days, that is going to be the difference between us waking up on November the 7th and looking at each other wondering, “Could I have done more?”, or feeling the promise of four more years and all that can be accomplished in four more years.  (Applause.)

So that’s a direct action item, right?  That’s clear, it’s consistent, it’s something that everybody can do.  Everybody has somebody in their lives that they can influence, whether it’s just getting them to register to vote, really challenging them on the issues if they’re on the fence, pulling somebody in who is not engaged, finding that person who hasn’t written a check yet “just because.”  We all know those people.  So we need you to be fired up and ready to go and ready to really roll up your sleeves and make this happen.  Because, as Barack and I say time and time again, we have come so far, but we have so much more to do.  And we can’t afford to turn back now.  Not now.  All our kids are watching this.  They are counting on us to step up and, as I said last night, to do what was hard, like our parents and grandparents did for us.

So let’s make this happen.  Let’s make this happen.  We need your help.

Thank you all so much.  God bless you.  Love you all.  (Applause.)

Tags: Election

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