First Lady Obama: 'Real Change Is Slow'

First Lady Michelle Obama stopped in Sarasota Thursday to raise funds for President Obama's campaign, focusing on the president's message.

First Lady Michelle Obama, in Sarasota for a private fundraiser, acknowledged Thursday that it will take some time for the economy to improve.

Appearing at the Lobo home, in behalf of her husband's re-election campaign, the First Lady said: “The reality is that real change is slow, and it never happens all at once,” she said.

About 250 people attended the outdoor fundraiser, which cost a minimum of $500 per person and was for the Obama Victory Fund.

The First Lady was introduced by homeowner Caren Lobo, who also hosted the fundraiser at the same location with Michelle Obama four years ago prior to the 2008 presidential primaries.

This was one of several stops for her in South Florida. Earlier in the day she was in .

She started her speech defending the economy, talking about the improvements over the last several months.

“Over the past three years we have worked very hard to dig ourselves out of this mess and we have made some wonderful progress,” Obama said.

She talked about private jobs sector growth and the declining unemployment rate.

“And the unemployment rate is now the lowest it’s been in nearly 3 years,” she said.

Besides talking about middle class tax cuts and the extension of unemployment benefits, the First Lady spent considerable time talking about the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to help women get equal pay for equal work.

“It’s the first thing we did,” Mrs. Obama said. “He did it because when nearly two-thirds of women are breadwinners or co-breadwinners, he knows women success in this economy is key to family success in this economy.”

She also defended health care reform.

“Now, there are folks out there actually talking about repealing that reform,” “We have to ask ourselves: ‘are we going to stand by and let that happen.’

“Are we going back to the days when insurance companies could deny our children coverage because of a pre-existing condition, like cancer or diabetes or asthma?”

One of the biggest applause lines came when she talked about the administration killing Osama bin Laden and ending the war in Iraq.

Later she said Barack Obama reads letters of people struggling in the economy and is greatly moved by them.

“He tells me, ‘Michelle, this isn’t right, we got to fix this. We have so much more work to do.”

Even in the hardest moments, she said Barack Obama never gets distracted.

“He does it because he has a vision for this country,” she said.

She ended her 20-minute speech, telling the crowd that she’s going to fight hard and needs help.

“This is going to be hard. We can’t take anything for granted,” she said. “Tell the people the truth about who this president is and what he’s done for so many across the country and around the world. So we have to get it done.”

Rita Ferrandino, chairwoman of Sarasota County Democratic Party, said Obama's appearance solidifies Sarasota's importance in the presidential election.

"With a powerful and diverse electorate, the eyes of the nation will be rightly focused on Florida this year. And Sarasota County is earning the distinction of holding its own with big dogs like Palm Beach, Orange and the Tampa Bay area," she said.

"Mrs. Obama did an excellent job outlining the steps that will be necessary to re-elect President Obama and help him finish the job he started when we sent him to the White House three years ago," Ferrandino added. "Following the President's vision for our future, we can come together using the shared values we believe in and transform the U.S. into role model of humanity and progress for the world."

Jenny January 27, 2012 at 02:41 PM
I don't think the change they have caused was slow. Thanks to them and their out of control spending, our country went from 8 trillion in debt to 16 trillion. He spent more then all the other presidents COMBINED! I think that was pretty fast! He is going to divide our country more than any other president and he obviously is going to be running on that again. Class warfare is his new mantra.
Leslie Thomas January 27, 2012 at 04:09 PM
Really!!! get your facts straight the president has not doubled the debt
Proofisinthepudding January 27, 2012 at 07:11 PM
Where are you facts Leslie? Who are the idiots that would go to this fund raiser? She is a racist of the highest calliber..... This administration has sold people the Brooklyn bridge and now they want to buy Lake superior!!!!!!!!
Charles Schelle (Editor) January 27, 2012 at 07:25 PM
Folks, let's keep this civil before it gets any uglier.
Bob Watson January 28, 2012 at 02:38 AM
If you'll just stick with us we will overthrow this stupid Republic, and Barry will be Emporere, and I'll finally be proud of this piece of crap Country! Michelle Zero
Bob Watson January 28, 2012 at 02:40 AM
He's 2 Trillion away, you're right! You mental fidgit!
Bob Watson January 28, 2012 at 02:41 AM
Jenny January 28, 2012 at 02:05 PM
Shut off MSNBC and get educated on what is going on. We absolutely have gone from 8 trillion to 16 trillion since Barry was voted in by idiots. Once again I'll say he has spent more then all the other presidents combined!
MaleMatters January 28, 2012 at 07:05 PM
Re: "the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to help women get equal pay for equal work." It will do no such thing. No law yet has closed the gender wage gap — not the 1963 Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, not Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, not the 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act, not the 1991 amendments to Title VII, not affirmative action (which has benefited mostly white women, the group most vocal about the wage gap), not diversity, not the countless state and local laws and regulations, not the horde of overseers at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and not the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. That's because of this female AND male behavior: Millions of wives still choose to have no pay at all. In fact, according to Scott Haltzman, author of "The Secrets of Happily Married Women," stay-at-home wives constitute a growing niche. "In the past few years,” he says at http://tinyurl.com/6reowj, “many women who are well educated and trained for career tracks have decided instead to stay at home.” (“Census Bureau data show that 5.6 million mothers stayed home with their children in 2005, about 1.2 million more than did so a decade earlier....” at http://tinyurl.com/qqkaka. If "greedy, profit-obsessed" employers could get away with paying women less than men for the same work, they would not hire a man – ever.) More: "Will the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act Help Women?" at http://malemattersusa.wordpress.com/2011/12/03/will-the-ledbetter-fair-pay-act-help-women/
Lynda January 28, 2012 at 08:03 PM
Jenny, please do your research and don't just repeat talking points you have been given. The components of the current (and future) national debt includes significant unpaid-for costs of a preemptive Iraq war opposed by Senator Obama and unpaid-for tax cuts which overwhelmingly benefit wealthy taxpayers. The national debt issue is complicated and doesn't lend itself to simple-minded comments.
Lynda January 28, 2012 at 08:08 PM
It really doesn't add anything to a discussion to name call or to disrespect the person who currently holds the office of the President or his wife or his supporters. And, to do so without at least your first name is pretty cowardly. Own your opinions.
Ralph January 28, 2012 at 09:24 PM
Obama has done more harm to The U.S.A., in 3 years, than any other President, War, Social upheaval or Economic Depression.
Forest January 29, 2012 at 03:29 PM
I want to point to the hypocrisy of her "Let's Move" program and the massive USDA campaign www.choosemyplate.gov. The White House has launched this huge pageant program to curb obesity in children yet adamantly oppose any legislation that regulates (bans) candy, soda and junk food in food stamp programs. How does a hypocritic reconcile these counter-intuitive ideologies?
Joe Brindley March 15, 2012 at 09:13 PM
Oh, I don't know, Michelle, I'd say your hubby's change is moving pretty quick. Now I'm paying blood at the gas pump, paying for birth control (by the way, the government should pay for my viagra), and hiking my taxes up. Alot of change but not much hope.
Lynda March 16, 2012 at 12:36 AM
And, Joe, you are still paying for President Bush's preemptive Iraq war that contributed to the rise in power of Iran. How's that change working out for you?


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