Democratic first ladies visit FAMU

Behind every great man is a great woman, and Saturday morning two such women visited Florida A&M University. Michelle Obama and Jill Biden led a voter registration rally on the university’s campus, Saturday.

Rickard’s High School band opened up with a music medley followed by a prayer, by Chelsea Matthews, a third year public relations student from Jacksonville. Then Monique Gillum, a member of the Obama campaign in Tallahassee, asked the audience to get involved with the voting movement.

“We need to get out there and get registered, arrive with five,” Gillum said.

Gillum was referring to one voter bringing five more voters to the polls with them. She encouraged people to text the word “pledge” to 62262.

FAMU president James Ammons got the crowd electrified with Rattler pride and SGA vice-president Mellori Lumpkin continued with a speech enforcing the importance of community service. Jill Biden briefly greeted FAMU and praised the democratic candidates before introducing Michelle Obama.

Obama heartily greeted the Rattlers before she launched into the importance of the elections in Tallahassee. Obama said even though 100 percent of students living on campus were registered, 600,000 thousand African-Americans were not, and the responsibility for getting people to register to vote was collective.

“We’re on a college campus that is a model of voter registration but we’re going to need a lot more work than that,” Obama said.

Engaging the crowd, Obama spoke about her trust in Barack Obama to be the next leader of the country.

“I believe my husband will be an extraordinary president, I believe that in my soul,” she said.

She explained that the Obama-Biden’s potency lies in their working class background.

“Barack Obama and Joe Biden get it because they’ve been there,” Obama said.

Identifying with college students, Obama divulged she and her husband were only recently able to pay off their college loans because of the success of Obama’s two memoirs. Jeremy Margin, 22, an electrical engineer student from Orlando agreed that Obama was able to reach her audience effectively.

“I really think Michelle can identify with us, she has gained common ground with the average American and she talks to us- not at us,” Obama said.

A member of the Obama campaign in Tallahassee, Ashley Wright, 22, said that the wives of the candidates sometimes adds a bit more to the campaign.

“They are the fuel of the whole thing at times, they keep it together and push their husbands,” Wright said. “Rattlers weren’t the only college students in attendance, Tallahassee Community College and Florida State University were sprinkled throughout the crowd.

Amanda Lorenz, a 20 year old, actuarial science student from FSU, said the lure of Michelle Obama was too great to resist.

“I was so excited to hear from her, I’m a big fan of Barack Obama.”

Obama promised a special treat for students who register the most votes, “I will call your parents, grandparents, anyone in your life and tell them what a good student you are.”