The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Families vow to help campaign after hearing Michelle Obama’s call
Getting in the line at 10:15 a.m. paid off for UMW student Manisha Kumar. She got to shake the hand of First Lady Michelle Obama.
“I love her!” Kumar, 21, exclaimed after leaving the University of Mary Washington’s Anderson Center, where Obama spoke Thursday evening to a crowd of about 2,100. “It was worth the wait.”
Kumar and two fellow science majors joined many other students at the campaign event, along with a diverse crowd of fans of President Barack Obama.
Mrs. Obama’s speech echoed the one she made at the Democratic National Convention last week, which had inspired many to see her in person.
“She reiterated a lot she said during the convention that people need to get out there to work,” said Debra McNeil, 50 of Fredericksburg. McNeil said she’s been selling yard signs for the campaign.
Her daughter, Ashley, 19, said she’d soon start volunteering in Richmond, where she studies political science at Virginia Commonwealth University.
“I don’t think people understand it’s not going to happen overnight,” said Ashley McNeil about criticism of Obama’s work on improving the economy. “His presidential veto can only go so far.” She said she hoped Obama wins the election to ensure that she and her family can have affordable healthcare, which they’ve lacked while her mother has been unemployed.
Holding up a Mrs. Obama doll was Sheralyn Brown’s version of a campaign sign, which were prohibited at the event. ”I thought it was absolutely fantastic,” said Brown, a retired Army Lt. Col. “She’s a strong, absolutely phenomenal black woman.” Brown, 55, said seeing in person was “life changing,” and many upcoming weekends will be dedicated to volunteering for the campaign.