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

sugar

silly lib

Contango

Re: "THE NIGHT CHICAGO DIED"

A highly historically inaccurate and insipid song.

"'Bout a hundred cops are dead" - NEVER happened.

JACKEL

Guns are like parachutes.If you need one and don't have it you probably won't need it again !

coasterfan

Extreme right-wing Republicans can't help themselves. The more they try to make people believe they aren't racist, the more things they say/do to prove that they really DO have a problem with race.

Thing is, I know a lot of intelligent, reasonable conservatives. It's rather telling that very few of them post on this website. They have little in common with the tea party, Birther, conspiracy loons who post here, who are blissfully unaware that 90% of Americans disagree with their narrow worldview.

Huron_1969

Good observation..... and the same goes for the far left liberals. The confounding part of it is, the extremists (left and right) are getting all of the attention.

Fromthe419

Come on coasterfan, for the last 200 plus years our society has been bending over backward to allow those in the minority to have a say, so if you are correct in saying the tea party, birther and conspiracy are now the minority, I would think you would be bending over backwards to have their right to speak. You can't have it both ways, in a free and democratic society, both sides have the right to speak their mind. As for me and libertarians, let both sides speak their mind and don't discriminate against either side.

Contango

Re: "I know a lot of intelligent, reasonable conservatives."

What are the political philosophical differences between the above and Progressives?

coasterfan

A more interesting question would be "What are the differences between intelligent, reasonable conservatives and teaparty activists"...

Contango

Re: "intelligent, reasonable conservatives"

Allow me to rephrase the QUESTION: And this means what? Define YOUR
terms.

Darwin's choice

"conspiracy loons who post here, who are blissfully unaware that 90% of Americans disagree with their narrow worldview."

Lol!!! Say's the king of posting!! Look in the mirror......

sugar

Stop with the worn out race card, it just is not working anymore. I see that the Justice Bro Sharpton got about 500 people in DC for his rally last Saturday. Smart minorities know it's BS used by the progs to control outcomes.

beepx22

i know i was happy to have mine the day i needed it.

coasterfan

Huron is 100% correct. The interesting thing about the wingnuts is that they, for some reason, have absolutely no idea that they are wingnuts. They actually seem to believe that everyone does (or should) see things exactly as they do.

At least we Democrats stick together. The teaparty fringe are even seen as outcasts by their own party, yet the more isolated they become, the more outspoken and belligerant they get. They're so far to the right that they think all Democrats are liberals, and all mainstream Republicans are RINOs. We Dems don't have any of our party leadership calling us the "party of stupid" as Jindal did, or Bob Dole types suggesting that we "close down for repairs" because our party has lost its way.

The Darwins and Contangos of the world are a people who profess to love America, yet they quite obviously hate most Americans (i.e. the majority who don't agree with their viewpoint). It's not liberals who are foisting a new false conspiracy each day, it's conservatives. The funny thing is, even when their conspiracies are exposed as pure bunk (IRS scandal, "global warming isn't real" and Obama's birth certificate for example), they continue to insist that "it's a conspiracy".

OK, I know I shouldn't poke the bear. You can go back inside your Republican bubble now, to grumble, grumble your life away. You should probably get used to the way things are, though. We're not going to go back to Romney World circa 1950, and yours is a rapidly shrinking New Minority in America.

deertracker

I applaud your effort trying to educate these right wing dingbats!

Darwin's choice

Does it make any difference who's azz you kiss? Pucker up Deertracker!

sugar

Do you get all your ideas from the Dem talking points of the day? Or do you try to have thoughts and opines of your very own?

Contango

Re: "they quite obviously hate most Americans,"

"They" "hate" Progressive Fabian socialist style collectivism and LOVE individual freedom and personal responsibility as our nation’s founders and others like John Locke envisioned.

2cents

Nice comment : )

Contango

Thanks.

Question that I've asked and that has NEVER been answered by ANY of our resident socialists:

With which (if any) of the ten planks of the Communist Manifesto do you disagree?

If they refer to socialism-communism as liberalism, Progressivism or some other "ism," then they are able to ignorantly view it as a more "enlightened" form of oppression.

sugar

Yes they do hate Fabian style progressives, at least I do.

The Big Dog's back

I'm not sure there's anybody pooh doesn't hate, including the one in the mirror.

2cents

Oh how phony, I bet this kid could be her son too!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i...

coasterfan

Contango: THAT'S your source? A blog in the Dallas News, a conservative newspaper in one of the most conservative states in the Union? See, that's what I'm talking about. Your information is suspect from the get-go. The Dallas News posted a full page spread calling Kennedy a communist on the day he was assassinated. And your "source" isn't even an article, it's a non-endorsed blog posting.

"Repealing Obamacare, gutting critical investments in our future, threatening to default on the bills this country has already racked up, or shutting down the government...None of that will take this country where it needs to go". Pres. Obama neatly summed up the Republicans in the above statement.

Progressives want things to get better, and take steps to foster progress. Conservatives want things to stay the same, no matter how bad things currently are. They fight any attempt to change things, which is why they still want to enact the economic policies that brought our economy to its knees. They fight things that they supported in 2008, simply because Obama has now endorsed them. The past 30 years is replete with examples of how their plan doesn't work, and since they have no independent data to present, they resort to name-calling. In their eyes, Obama and Progressives are communists, socialists, Marxists and anti-American (although they would be unable to tell you the difference between the above).

You can either be part of the team that is working to make things better, or you can be part of the team (GOP) that is trying to stop them.
But please stop trying to sell us a bucket of poop and marketing it as honey. When I look at what the GOP stands for, from top to bottom, it's just poo. 1950s poo.

Contango

Re: "THAT'S your source?"

The man was a POW!

Here's the original; you obviously lack research skills.

http://samjohnson.house.gov/

The Big Dog's back

So what! Does that make him immune to being a right wingnut? Probably why he got caught in the 1st place. Just like McCain.

sugar

Are you really that selfish, and contemptible that you would say something so crass about a POW, even if you don't like his politics? One sorry excuse for an American, the face of the liberals, shame on you.

Contango

Re: "they resort to name-calling. In their eyes, Obama and Progressives are communists, socialists, Marxists and anti-American"

Answer the question:

With which (if any) of the ten planks of the Communist Manifesto do you disagree?

If it walks like a duck...

Also: As one who is often particularly verbose, a non-reply would merely fill volumes.

The Big Dog's back

I've already answered that a 1000 times pooh. You just refuse to accept the answer.

sugar

pooh, boo, coco, get off the Ebonics
.

Contango

Re: "they resort to name-calling. In their eyes, Obama and Progressives are communists, socialists, Marxists and anti-American,"

A rich old man keeps asking a young lady how much to go to bed with him.

At $1 million, she says yes; he starts to lower the price and she retorts: "What do you think I am?"

The man replies: "We’ve established what you are; now we’re just haggling over the price.”

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