Michelle Obama highlights kids, gun violence

First lady joins legislative debate over access to guns
Associated Press
Jul 26, 2013

A second term as first lady finds Michelle Obama using her spotlight to draw attention to another issue involving the welfare of children: young people and gun violence.

A meeting with high school students from a rough neighborhood in her hometown of Chicago led Mrs. Obama to start putting a new spin on the stalled legislative debate over access to guns.

A mother to a teen and a tween, Mrs. Obama says the country is obligated to help kids like these grow up and become adults. Several current and former students at Chicago's Harper High School were killed by gunfire within the past year.

The first lady on Tuesday faced immigration — another new issue for her — when she delivered the keynote speech in New Orleans at the annual conference of the National Council of La Raza. Immigration is one of President Barack Obama's top second-term priorities, as it is for the Latino advocacy group.

Mrs. Obama urged the group's members to stay encouraged and continue to press the House to follow the lead of the Senate and pass an immigration bill.

"Do not give up because I promise you my husband won't give up until a good bill gets on his desk," she said.

Aides say the first lady isn't making gun violence a new and distinct issue, but is folding it into the work she's been doing to encourage youth to focus on getting an education.

By reaching beyond the pair of relatively safe issues she has been pushing — reducing childhood obesity, which she discussed at length at the La Raza conference, and rallying public support for military families — the Harvard-trained lawyer who some say has played it safe is showing a willingness to step outside of her comfort zone.

She'll need to tread carefully, though. The American public tends to prefer that its first ladies leave the heavier policy lifting to the president.

Rosalynn Carter was criticized for attending Cabinet meetings and Hillary Rodham Clinton was pilloried for running a health care task force in secret. Mrs. Obama is viewed favorably by about two-thirds of the public, higher than her husband, who had a favorability rating of about 53 percent, according to recent polls.

Mrs. Obama fell out of public favor during the 2008 presidential campaign over comments deemed unpatriotic. But once in the White House, she declared herself "mom in chief" to her two kids, planted a vegetable garden, pushed the childhood obesity and military family issues and resurrected her public standing.

At three fundraisers one day in May, in Boston and New York, Mrs. Obama described meeting some of Harper High's "best and brightest" students, including the valedictorian, a star athlete and ROTC participants.

But instead of "reveling in the joys of their youth," like college applications, the prom or learning to drive, she told Democratic donors that "these young people were consumed with staying alive."

"There are so many kids in this country just like them, kids with so much promise, but so few opportunities, good kids who are doing everything they can to break the cycle and beat the odds," Mrs. Obama said. "We need to be better for them. We need to be better for all of our children in this country because they are counting on us to give them the chances they need for the futures they all deserve."

The students worry daily about being killed or about someone else being killed, she said.

"One kid told me he felt like he lived in a cage, because he feels like his community is unseen, unheard, and nobody cares about it. What's our obligation to these kids? We do have one," she told CBS "Sunday Morning."

The meeting with Harper High's students followed the first lady's speech at a youth violence conference in Chicago this year. Mrs. Obama compared herself to Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old honor student whose death became national news in part because she was shot a mile from the Obamas' home a few days after she returned from performing at the president's inauguration.

It is unclear whether Mrs. Obama will continue to speak about gun violence or immigration. The speech to La Raza is likely her final public event before she takes her traditional month off in August.

She recently said first ladies, more than presidents, "get to work on what we're passionate about."

"You have an opportunity to speak to your passions and to really design and be very strategic about the issues you care most about," Mrs. Obama said at a recent forum in Tanzania with African first ladies. "And I just found it just a very freeing and liberating opportunity."

 

 

Comments

coasterfan

Funny how you mentioned Detroit, but didn't mention the obvious: it went bankrupt while under a Republican governor. Seriously, dude, the ability to fix anything related to the economy is the one thing that the GOP has shown it absolutely cannot do. For the past 30 years, every single time a Republican has been in the White House, the economy has gotten worse. Why not quit while you're behind?

Fromthe419

Detroit had a population of over 1.5 million in 1955 and 300 thousand union jobs, today the population is 700k and they are offering goods and services as though the population is the same. You can not promise everything to everyone, when the population decreases you must adjust accordingly. The 300 thousand jobs are now 27k, those left can not support the many that were living there in 1955, kinda like what we have now in the US. We have almost 100T in unfunded liabilities, how are we going to pay it off, dump it into the lap of our children and grand children?

Contango

Re: "Funny how you mentioned Detroit, but didn't mention the obvious: it went bankrupt while under a Republican governor."

BUT, it went bankrupt under a Democrat mayor and a Democrat controlled city council.

Name a Repub Detroit Mayor in the last 40 yrs.

The Big Dogs Back

Bullspit

The Big Dog's back

Kinda of a shame winnie you have to resort to using other peoples screen name.

Contango

Who in the h*ll wrote this article?

Immigration, obesity, gun violence, fund raisers, et al; the d*mn thing is all over the map and is a compositional mess.

deertracker

Why don't you apply for a job there and rain all of your infinite writing knowledge on them. Make it rain pooh!

The Big Dogs Back

Bullspit

The Big Dog's back

Kinda of a shame winnie you have to resort to using other peoples screen name.

sugar

Follows the Queens thought pattern as far as I can see.

Contango

“...we discussed the fact that Ho Chi Minh was actually inspired by the U.S. Declaration of Independence and Constitution, and the words of Thomas Jefferson.”

- Pres. Obama, July 26, 2013

@ Michelle: Your husband spits on the sacrifice of those who fought and p*sses on those who died in Vietnam.

http://trailblazersblog.dallasne...

The Big Dog's back

Another f right wingnut.

The Big Dogs Back

Bullspit

The Big Dog's back

Kinda of a shame winnie you have to resort to using other peoples screen name.

coasterfan

Contango: please remind yourself that words have meanings. Your final comment was not only incorrect, but inflammatory. Obama is on record countless times stating the exact opposite. So, congrats, you've earned my Troll Of The Day award.

The thing about Fox News is: if it HIGHLY divisive, FAR more than the so-called Mainstream Media that conservatives decry. If you listen to no other viewpoint, Fox is very persuasive, especially given our human nature towards confirmation bias (the tendency to only listen to things that confirm what we already believe). Same thing with MSNBC on the left. But then you listen to network news or CNN, who are in the middle, and you hear the other half of the story that Fox and MSNBC conveniently left out.

Contango

Re: "Your final comment was not only incorrect, but inflammatory."

Find me web links to Vietnam vets who support Pres. Obama's "inflammatory" comments.

coasterfan

Perhaps you should first regale us with Obama's supposed inflammatory comments. Seriously, I spend as much time reading the news as anyone, and I don't recall anything he has said on the subject that could be taken as inflammatory.

Here's a hint for you: if you hear about it someplace other than Fox News, then you can be assured that it might have actually happened. If he truly said something offensive, it absolutely would have been given great coverage across the media spectrum.

Contango

Re: "Perhaps you should first regale us with Obama's supposed inflammatory comments."

Open the link previously provided:

http://trailblazersblog.dallasne...

BTW: How the Progressives and Obama are afraid of ONE SINGLE cable channel like Fox is laughable.

Also, HCM was MORE influenced by Marx - not unlike the Progressives.

coasterfan

We Progressives aren't afraid of Fox. We laugh at it, because it's so ridiculously biased, yet professes not to be. At least MSNBC has the good graces to own up to its own one-sidedness...

Contango

Re: "We Progressives aren't afraid of Fox."

The almost constant need to point to it as a source of contention speaks otherwise.

Also, how many interviews did candidate & Pres. Obama grant to FNC?

sugar

You progs don't have the good sense to be afraid.

arnmcrmn

and MSNBC is at the bottom of the hole in ratings.....but keep watching it. lol

The New World Czar

Please, CNN/CBS/NBC/CBS in the middle? LMAO

coasterfan

Well, yes they are. We in the middle understand that, as Fox is to the extreme Right, MSNBC is the the left. Both networks contain an inordinate amount of opinion-driven shoutfest types of shows, masquerading as news, with little, if any, counterpoint discussion.

The words "liberal" or "right-wingnut" are used constantly on Fox and MSNBC in derogatory fashion, and both have an obvious ideological slant.
There is no obvious political slant with CNN, as they print an equal amount of pro-lib and pro-con articles. Same with the network news outlets, who basically gave Bush a free pass during his disastrous 2-term presidency, just as you say they now do with Obama. There are no Rachel Maddows, Keith Olbermanns, Bill O'Reillys on CNN or the networks.

I mean, seriously. There is an article on today's foxnews.com entitled "Even the Liberal Media Isn't Falling For Obama's Tired Economic Message". Aside from ignoring the obvious fact that the economy IS getting slowly better under Obama, does anyone think THAT headline is "fair and balanced"? AT the end of the day, if you think that the mainstream media is liberal-leaning, it's a clue that your ideals have moved sooooooo far to the right that you've left your own Republican party behind, and are now on the extreme Right fringe of society. Congrats, you're now a teaparty member, and have left the land of logic.

Contango

Re: "Aside from ignoring the obvious fact that the economy IS getting slowly better under Obama,"

As previously stated:

Normal business cycle and Federal Reserve policies have been the primary motivators.

Conversely, ObamaCare is having a negative effect on employment:

"Part-time worker still outpacing full-time jobs"

http://www.chron.com/jobs/articl...

coasterfan

Yes, yes, Contango. We all know the conservative spin on it. And we all know how much much much better things are now than they were under Bush in 2008. Do you really expect people to forget that we had a net job loss of 3/4 million jobs a MONTH in 2008, and forget the recession of 2007-2008? Sorry, but you're a Republican, and we're not going to listen to you lecture us on the economy, since that's something you guys really stink at.

Care to chat about how Obamacare is working (even better than expected) in New York and California - two states who aren't fighting its implementation? As Paul Krugman, the Nobel-prize winning economist said, "it's working exactly as it was designed to do - in states that aren't fighting to keep it from working".

See, that's the other half of the story that Fox always leaves out. You're paying full price for your cable/satellite TV each month. Why use that investment to only get half of the news?

You seem different than the other conservatives who post here. You speak intelligently, and understand basic grammar and punctuation usage. I urge you to leave the Fox bubble (in which facts don't get in) to come over to the land of enlightenment. It's a place where science, verifiable statistics and actual data hold sway over opinion. You're too smart to stick with the Bachmann, Palin types, aren't you?

Contango

Re: "I urge you to...come over to the land of enlightenment."

If Progressivism (Fabian socialism) is "enlightenment," then obviously for you sh*t smells like roses.

Contango

Re: "Paul Krugman, the Nobel-prize winning economist,"

"Paul Krugman Did Not Win a Nobel Prize in Economics":

http://www.dailykos.com/story/20...

Prefer Friedman & Hayek to Krugman ANY DAY.

sugar

This bozo has had 4 years to rectify the problems. I distinctly recall him saying that the unemployment rate would be below 7%, that he would cut the deficit in half, we would be out of ME wars, Gitmo would be closed. All lies. He has achieved his agenda though, destroying the economy and causing a ever widening divide in the country.

The Big Dogs Back

Bullspit

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