Wednesday, I had the privilege of attending a sold-out luncheon fundraiser for President Obama organized by the campaign committee Women for Obama.
An eclectic collection of neighbors, former neighbors, celebrities, city officials and as near as I could tell ordinary people like me who wanted to hear Mrs. Obama speak attended the event held at the home of Mattie and Michael Lawson in Fremont Place. From what I could see, Women for Obama is a big tent with a very diverse group of women and men supporting the re-election of the President. And it was literally a big tent constructed over three days in the large front yard of my neighbor’s house complete with lots of security, staff, valet parking attendants and over 300 guests.
Mrs. Obama alternated between energizing and entertaining the audience as she laid out the clear choices voters will face in the fall. She spoke passionately about the her husband’s vision and his personal commitment to the keeping the “system” fair — if you work hard you will be rewarded; the rules are fair and applied across the board to everyone. Looking around the room full of donors, Mrs. Obama acknowledged that her children, and more than likely the kids of all those in the audience, would be just fine no matter who wins in the next election. But she said the last few years have shown how our country is weakened when our economy leaves parts of society behind.
“We cannot separate our own individual story from the broader American story,” she added, “that is not who we are because in this country we know that we rise and fall together.”
Mrs. Obama challenged the crowd, saying it’s time get “moving and get to work.” She said, “we don’t have time to get tired, or disappointed or complacent.”
In closing she brought the crowd to their feet cheering when she asked, “are you in?” Most definitely was the response as she left the podium and shook hands with everyone she could reach, including yours truly, thanking them for coming and urging them to join the campaign.
Just some of the people I spotted, I’m sure there were others: Mayor Antonio Villariagosa, Monica Rosenthal, Angela Bassett and Courtney Vance, Melanie Griffith, Donna Mills, Octavia Spencer, Samuel Jackson, and Reverend Charles E Blake of the West Angeles Church.
Listen to a portion of the First Lady’s Speech: [soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/35412668″ iframe=”true” /]