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

The Big Dog's back

The best 1st Lady we've had in some time.

buckeye15

Let the hating begin!

deertracker

Both of you are spot on!

There you go again

That's a "phoney" comment. ( Have you heard that word used by our president?)

abigbear

at least she is finally proud of her country for the first time in her life
wonder if she has been to all 57 states with a couple more to go with her MF Marxist Muslim blah blah blah

coasterfan

What an odd comment, Bear. What in the world gave you the idea that she isn't proud of her country? I read the news every day, and have never heard that one.

Contango

Re: "What in the world gave you the idea that she isn't proud of her country?"

"Michelle Obama: 'For the First Time in My Adult Lifetime, I’m Really Proud of My Country'”

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/poli...

arnmcrmn

and coasterfan just tucked tail and ran.

sugar

This woman is as arrogant as her husband, rarely does she adhere to her own dictates, a phoney through and through.

8ballinthesidepocket

Why don't you go back to Chicago and start there. After all Michelle, they've only killed (gun shots alone) 500 people there, despite the toughest gun laws in the nation. You and your hubby have to learn that words only go so far, actions are needed not some more philosophical speechs with the aid of teleprompter. I hope this doesn't get in the way of your vacations. You should have done this instead of going to the Beyonce concert that only cost the taxpayers a half million dollars. I don't know what planet the Big Dog went to, but the trip back made is brain shrink if he thinks M.O. is one of the best first ladies we've ever had. I agree, she is the best we have had a spending money on frivolous things.

deertracker

You watch way too much faux news!

sugar

What a shame "faux news" is the only news organization that reports what is going on in this country. All the MSM is talking about is obamas same stupid speech he has been making for 5 years now, or that Zimmerman got away with murder. YAWN

The Big Dog's back

Maybe the koch brothers will spend some of their billions helping out Chicago instead of funneling it to faux news and other stations of hate.

sugar

Apparently Big Dog hasn't seen the video of the Detroit City Council woman who states that they helped him (obama) get elected and he should pony up some money for Detroit. The masses do not get to tell people who earn money how to spend it. Actually the Koch Bros are quite generous. David Koch funds some programming on PBS. Where's your donation?

Contango

Re: "seen the video of the Detroit City Council woman,"

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

"We’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends."

- Barack Obama, Oct. 25, 2010

Typical: He mistakes talk for action. :)

sugar

Why thank you for informing the ill informed!

Contango

Re: "Koch Bros"

The Koch Bros are trying to bring new economic growth to Detroit and the Democrats are fighting them.

http://www.businessinsider.com/k...

sugar

Hat tip again.....

The Big Dog's back

My donation is to TRY to educate right wingnuts.

arnmcrmn

and Dog you fail just like you most likely failed in school.

Contango

Re: "Why don't you go back to Chicago and start there."

IL has the WORST credit rating of any U.S. state.

IL has had a Democrat controlled legislature for 30 yrs. or more.

The state is BROKE and the city of Chicago is BROKE!

Rumor: After Detroit, Chicago will be among the next major cities to file for bankruptcy - both Democratic Party controlled for DECADES!

http://www.businessweek.com/news...

The Big Dog's back

bullspit.

Bottom Line

Typical idiotic response from you when someone presents FACTS that you choose not to want to accept... but then again that's the liberal way. Sidestep all the facts that prove you wrong.

The Big Dog's back

How do you know they are facts?

Darwin's choice

You know, no matter how much you lick your hind end, you still can't get the Obama taste off it.
How about you show us that they aren't fact, Instead of your usual pithy reply's?

The Big Dog's back

I already said bullspit.

Darwin's choice

And, there it is!! The Big Dog Dodge! Hahahahahhahahahahahaha!!!!!

sugar

Well the ill informed are the base of the Dem party.

Bottom Line

It's an absolute FACT about the democratic legislature. That takes about 60 seconds of research to find. It's also an absolute FACT that almost every single major American city following the path of Detroit has been under primarily liberal leadership for decades. That also doesn't take much effort to find. Your response is simply triggered by not wanting to see things for what they are. Which again is typical. I'm sure by your next post you or your equally idiotic friend deertracker will find a way to make it about race... like you do everything else. Because you're spineless and that's a great escape route.

Fromthe419

bullspit

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