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Michelle Obama makes campaign trail debut for Clinton

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    First lady Michelle Obama waved during a campaign rally in support of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and vice presidential candidate, Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., today, at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.

FAIRFAX, Va. » Stepping deeper into the political fray, Michelle Obama today warned young voters against being “tired or turned off” in the 2016 election. She urged them to rally behind Hillary Clinton, “particularly given the alternative.”

Mrs. Obama is emerging as one of Clinton’s most effective advocates, especially with voters who backed President Barack Obama but are less enthusiastic about his potential Democratic successor. The Clinton team’s biggest challenge regarding Mrs. Obama is getting the reluctant campaigner to commit to more events.

Today’s rally in Virginia was Mrs. Obama’s first solo campaign event for Clinton and comes nearly two months after her star turn at the Democratic convention. Speaking to mostly students at George Mason University, she repeatedly jabbed Trump without mentioning him by name, declaring that being president “isn’t anything like reality TV.”

The first lady pointedly called out those who continue to question the president’s citizenship “up to this very day.” Drawing on a frequently quoted line from her convention speech, Mrs. Obama said her husband had responded to those questions by “”going high when they go low.”

Hours earlier, Trump stated for the first time that the president was born in the United States, though he did not apologize for devoting years to promoting false allegations that Obama was not an American citizen.

Beyond her ability to take on Trump with a smile, Mrs. Obama’s real value to Clinton is her wild popularity with Democratic voters, particularly young people and blacks. She vouched repeatedly for Clinton’s resume and character, urging voters motivated by her husband’s history-making campaigns to feel the same way about the first woman nominated for president by a major U.S. party.

“When I hear folks saying that they don’t feel inspired in this election, well let me tell you, I disagree— I am inspired,” Mrs. Obama said.

Clinton aides want Mrs. Obama in battleground states as much as possible between now and Election Day. Today’s rally in northern Virginia, less than an hour drive from the White House, is the only event she’s publicly committed to, though the Clinton campaign expects her to make additional appearances.

Jennifer Palmieri, Clinton’s communications director and a former Obama adviser, called the first lady “an advocate without peer.”

“There is no other surrogate with the reach, credibility and respect she has,” Palmieri said.

Clinton herself has started referencing Mrs. Obama in her campaign remarks, using her convention address as a guidepost for what she promises will be a more aspirational finish to her campaign.

“As Michelle Obama said in her fabulous speech at the Democratic Convention, when we go to the polls this November, the real choice isn’t between Democrat or Republican. It’s about who will have the power to shape our children for the next four years of their lives,” Clinton said Thursday during a campaign stop in Greensboro, North Carolina.

That convention address ran just about 10 minutes, yet it was perhaps the most powerful of the four-day gathering. In the midst of a heated campaign, with two candidates who are viewed negatively by so many Americans, the first lady provided a striking contrast by speaking as a mother hopeful about her daughters’ future.

“Part of what makes her so appealing and effective as a surrogate is that she’s relentlessly positive, even when things on the campaign trail get negative,” said Olivia Alair Dalton, Mrs. Obama’s former spokeswoman.

Mrs. Obama has carefully cultivated her image as a devoted mother who prefers to stay out of the political fray. She sets limits on how often she’s willing to campaign, even for her husband’s White House races, and largely steers clear of controversial topics. And she’s embraced her role as a pop culture fixture far more willingly than her role as one of the most popular figures in Democratic politics.

Unlike her husband, who forged a strong bond with Clinton during her four years as his secretary of state, Mrs. Obama does not have a particularly close relationship with the Democratic nominee, though the two are said to be friendly.

Yet the first lady is fiercely protective of her husband’s legacy and has been a major player in discussions about his presidential library and other post-White House projects. And there’s perhaps nothing more crucial to preserving Obama’s legacy than a Clinton victory.

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  • Arguable the smartest and most accomplished First Lady in the history of the title. She is everything what that trollop from Slovenia is not: highly educated, articulate, benevolent, self accomplished , uber smart, and self-effacing.

        • How is sarge22 taking what M.O. said out of context. She was only happy and chg. her anti-american tune when her husband was nominated as the Democrat nominee for President…she explicitly said she hated America and was forgiving when B.O. was the Democratic nominee. Can you imagine the hate she had for this country prior to B.O. being nominated…all that pent-up hostility…..a psychopath like Clinton who is a psychopath liar in her handling of her emails, the Benghazi incident and as Sec. of State.

        • Is this bizarro world? Trump has always thought and has acknowledged this is the best country in the world. I guess you can say anything you want in a post, but today this is filled with so much garbage.

        • TRUTH: Trump doesn’t care if this country is great or not. He doesn’t care about anything except his ego. He doesn’t care about his followers.

          As you know, Trump’s business “success” is based on exploiting bankruptcy loopholes, borrowing and investing overseas, and taking advantage of contractors who are helpless to fight his merciless tricks. He doesn’t care about people.

          His political success, so far, is based on being good at insulting and making up derogatory nicknames against his witless opponents.

          He’s only running to stroke his inflated ego. “Make America Great Again” is a meaningless slogan aimed to excite the under-educated who wish to go back to the 19th century (pre-Civil War). He does not believe this is a good country; he believes this is a country full suckers ready to buy his lies.

          There’s a lot of evidence supporting this truth. There is little evidence of him caring for people.

      • Candid about our country, is not the same as not proud. I don’t expect you to have the ability to be nuanced and understand the subtle complexities of this country. That said, it is of no surprise that you opt for the rather simplistic cartictaure that is Donald. Like most folks who enjoy cartoons, it is the overt simplicity that carries a nexus to their level of intellect and understanding that resonates…

        But would you understand or relate to someone who is from the hood, but went to Princeton and Harvard Law, as they say, –stay in your lane.

        • Assuming she was admitted under such policies, which I do not (your axiomatic assumption that any person of color is admitted to an elite institution only under affirmative action speaks volumes to how you view people of color), studies have shown, specific to Ivy schools, that their scores and grades would still be in the upper 95th percentile.

          So, tell us, where do you go to school–if any-blue eyed??

        • Go ahead and tell me the escrow company….polls taken Friday show already dropped 2-3 points he had previously gained. And stop telling folks taxes are optional, that is just plain wrong and incorrect.

          In short, in the United States, it isn’t the payment of tax that’s voluntary. Rather, it’s the manner in which people submit their own taxes.

          The U.S. tax code operates on a system of voluntary compliance. Some taxpayers have used the voluntary nature of the tax system to support their claims that they don’t have to pay tax at all. However, it isn’t the payment of the tax itself that is voluntary. Rather, it’s the manner in which people submit their own taxes.

          Do you even have the ability to recognize the huge difference?? It’s onr thing to rant on some political vantage you prefer, no matter how inane, but to dispense with information this this is not only incorrect, but also in many instances illegal and could result in someone being incarcerated–is unconscionable.

        • And les, ( I think it stand for less of a brain) here are but a few of the many, many examples in which folks were prosecuted for failure, or how you say optional, obligation to pay taxes

          In 2008, former businessman William Berroyer was settling a repayment deal with the IRS for his $60,000 tax bill when he tripped and fell over a telephone cord in a Haup­pauge, NY IRS office. He spent 17 days in hospitals and rehab clinics for his injuries, and sued the IRS for $10 million (claiming that the injuries prevented him from enjoying his favorite activities). A judge ruled in favor of Berroyer in 2014, but reduced his payment to $862,000. In addition, Berroyer’s tax bill was waived.

          H. Ty Warner, creator of the famous 90s plush toy Beanie Babies, pled guilty in January 2014 to tax evasion of $25 million using Swiss bank accounts, but was able to avoid a prison sentence. Warner was given leniency by the judge for his philanthropic activity and charity donations. He will instead serve two years’ probation and perform 500 hours of community service. Warner also agreed to pay $27 million in back taxes and interest, as well as a civil penalty of more than $53 million.

          Lauryn Hill, a 90’s Grammy-winning singer, was convicted in May 2013 of failing to pay nearly $1 million in taxes. She served her sentence and was released on October 2013 from her three-month sentence at a federal prison in Connecticut. The singer was allegedly unable pay her taxes due to during a period of time when she was inactive as a musician.
          In 2013, the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue filed a $39,000 tax lien against former reality TV star Jon Gosselin for taxes he did not pay in 2009.

          Legendary R&B singer Dionne Warwick filed for bankruptcy in 2013 after she battled the IRS for years over $10 million worth in tax debt dating back to 1991.

          Former NFL player O.J. Simpson has found himself in hot water numerous times. He was accused of murder, acquitted, but then found liable in a civil suit. In 2008 he was sentenced to 33 years in prison for the robbery and kidnapping of a sports memorabilia salesman. Now he is guilty of tax evasion. According to the IRS, he hasn’t paid any taxes since 2007, and reportedly owes almost $180,000. A second lien was filed early in 2013, covering $17,015.99 in income taxes for 2011.

          The IRS has filed two tax liens on comedian Katt Williams: one in 2012 for failing to pay $3.2 million for 2008 and $829,352 for 2009, and another in 2010 for failing to pay $284,000.

          In 2012, the IRS filed a tax lien on legendary singer/songwriter Lionel Richie for $1.1 million in unpaid taxes from 2010.

          In 2012, Krystle Marie Reyes fraudulently filed an Oregon state tax return that reported $3 million in earnings and managed to receive $2.1 million in tax refunds through state-issued refund debit cards. She then proceeded to go on a shopping spree, spending her fraudulently obtained refund money at a rate of tens of thousands of dollars per week. This case is considered to be one of the largest instances of tax fraud in the history of Oregon.

          Plaxico Burress, a Super Bowl champion wide receiver, had a federal tax lien filed against him in 2012. The IRS said he and his wife did not pay income taxes in 2007 and 2009, leaving an outstanding bill of $98,064.76. He was also the target of a New York State lien, alleging he owed $59,241 in unpaid income tax for 2007.

          Stephen Baldwin, who made his name in movies and reality TV, was arrested in December 2012 and charged with failing to pay more than $350,000 in New York state income taxes. In addition, he reportedly did not file tax returns for 2008, 2009, and 2010. By pleading guilty to one count of repeated failure to file and paying $100,000 to New York in restitution, he avoided prison time. He submitted his final payment of $100,000 in April 2014.

          The IRS seized actress Lindsay Lohan’s bank accounts due to her unpaid tax debt.

          Fortunately, the IRS released her from a tax lien in 2012 when she was able to pay off her 2009 using a $100,000 check actor Charlie Sheen gave to her. However, debts from 2010 and 2011 remain, but her business manager reportedly said he is working on a settlement to pay off the six figure balance.

          Rapper Lil Wayne has three separate tax liens against him: $1.13 million in December 2010 for tax years 2004, 2005, and 2007; $5.6 million in 2011 for tax years 2008 and 2009; and $7.72 million, which he paid at the end of 2012. He currently has a $12,155,084.46 tax bill.

          Popular R&B singer R. Kelly gained his fame in the 90’s and early 2000’s and sold an estimated 50 million records worldwide, earning him a great fortune. However, he failed to pay his taxes between the years 2005 and 2010 and reportedly owes $4.8 million for that time period. In addition, he owes nearly $1.4 million for 2011.

          American skier Lindsey Vonn and her estranged husband reportedly owed $1,705,437 in back taxes from 2010, the year she won the gold medal during the Vancouver winter Olympics.

          Kevin Federline, the ex-husband of famous pop star Britney Spears, faces $57,615 tax lien filed by the IRS for unpaid taxes in 2009 and 2010.

          In 2009, professional race car driver Hélio Castroneves was charged with filing years of false tax returns and evading $80 million in income taxes. His defense attorney does not deny the charges, but says that the racer is not to blame due to a brain injury which had compromised his decision-making abilities.

    • All I ever hear out of her has been anger and hate at our country and at those who do not agree with her or her husband. I have seen her multiple times and respect Sascha more than her. She has brought as much shame on the White House as did Clinton.

    • Ike, Michelle is indeed smart. If she ever needs a job, I’m sure the UoChicago Hospital would hire her back in a nanosecond to help out with some patient dumping. Especially some of those deplorable Slovenians you so admire.

    • That trollop form Slovenia as you so vulgarly referred to her, is someone’s mom. You disappoint me Holmes. I would expect someone with an Oxford education to be a little more civilized

      • I did not go to Oxford. Now, as to the term trollop, it can be defined as a woman perceived as sexually disreputable or promiscuous. So, let’s examine the history: explicit photo shoots, layouts in “men’s magazines”, and a photo essay of her in a threesome. So, tell me if that is not someone that can be arguably defined as perceived to be sexually promiscuous??

        Now me civilized, hmmmn, never said I was, educated yes…….

        • Can’t take the hood out of the boy. Seeing is believing. Does over educated ring a bell? Ike went to school with Eli Manning and left because Eli was smarter then him.

        • Sarge, thank you for making my point. So, today’s grammar lesson: Then is commonly used to express a sense of time or what comes next or used to be. Than is used to form comparisons between two things.

          So, the correct sentence is: Eli was smarter THAN him.

          You’re welcome Sarge. Buahahahahahaah

        • Thanks for the grammar lesson Ike. Buahahahahahaah? Why so arrogant after you finally provide some useful information? I’d rather support Trump than HiLIARy.

    • Very arguable. Truth is she’s just another black lives matter advocate that’s put racial equality back a hundred years. Trump will make Americans equal again.

  • Hmmmn, and which begs another germane issue, if you say you’re getting audited and can’t produce your tax returns. One, that’s not true, nothing prohibits you from releasing during an audit period. Second, and more important, having been audited, I know for a fact that you get an official latter stating that you are being audited–where is that letter, and how come he doesn’t just release the letter that provides that he is officially being audited??

    Hmmmn, why indeed…..

    • If a charitable foundation is required to list certain donors, and does not list certain donors, why does such a foundation retain its tax free status and continue to operate…?
      Why indeed…?

  • Down side of being a politician’s wife. Must campaign for even though you have no affinity for that person even though all expenses are paid by the candidate.

    • And that candidate (and her spouse), per Colin Powell’s email, dislikes (hate) the people who currently occupy their (candidate & her spouse) rightful place, in the WH, that was originally anointed to them in their own minds.

  • We must elect Hillary, not because she is a good candidate but to preserve little Barry Hussein’s legacy. Yup, sounds like a plan to me. Little Barry Hussein and Obamacare which was forced on the country is a disaster. Anyone remember the Hawaii Health Connector or has it been flushed down the memory hole yet? How about his dangerous deal with Iran, yeah that was a great idea. Racial unity, great job there Barry. Roaring economy? Nah, not so much. 93 million people out of work, record number of leeches on food stamps, increasing income inequality. Well at least grown men can now use the women’s room if they so desire. I guess he’s got that going for him, which is nice.

  • The Clinton’s must be throwing around a bit of the money Waldo funneled to the Clinton Family Foundation. Why else would Mrs. Hussein Obama shill for Hillary. It’s well known the Clintons and Hussein Obamas loathe one another. It cuts into the Clinton bottom line but that’s the cost of doing business. Wonder if they can deduct it on their taxes.

  • WHEN Hillary Clinton recently said that she puts half of Donald Trump’s supporters in a “basket of deplorables”, calling such folk “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic—you name it,” her Republican rival gleefully dubbed this outburst “the single biggest mistake of the political season”. Certainly, Mrs Clinton does seem to have broken a cardinal rule of politics: attack those running for office and their policies by all means, but never blame the voters. As Democrats scrambled to defend their nominee, they urged Americans to consider Mrs Clinton’s remarks in context, and to study the kindlier thoughts that she shared next, about how she puts other Trump backers into a second “basket”, unhappily filled with folk who feel the government and the economy has let them down, leaving them “just desperate for change” and deserving of understanding.

    Alas, if Clinton allies think that sympathy will get them off the hook, they may be misjudging how much voters enjoy being called “desperate”. Take a step back, and the whole Trump-bashing riff by Mrs Clinton, delivered on September 9th against the slightly unhelpful backdrop of a fund-raising gala in Manhattan, points to a dreadful dilemma that the Republican presidential nominee represents for the entire political establishment, meaning not just Mrs Clinton and the Democrats, but principled and thoughtful Republicans, and (at the risk of navel-gazing) journalists trying to report fairly on this election, too.

    Put simply, Mr Trump’s shtick should not be working. In part, that is because he has repeatedly made appeals to bigotry since entering the race more than a year ago. It is dismaying to see so many Americans either nod in agreement or pretend not to hear what he is really saying. To be still more blunt, to anyone with their critical faculties undimmed by partisan rage or calculation, he is obviously a con-man. He is a self-styled billionaire who will not reveal his tax returns and claims credit for acts of charity that others funded. He is a portly 70-year old who likes to insinuate that Mrs Clinton is in desperate health while declining to reveal his own medical records. Then there are his promises to restore American greatness if elected president, and to do this at head-spinning speed (“so fast”, is a favourite Trump boast). In a country long used to fibbing candidates and policy platforms constructed out of flim-flam and magic money, Mr Trump breaks new ground. He is, arguably, the first major party nominee to realise that when working to please a crowd, there is no reason to offer policies that even try to make sense. Just start with the businessman’s most famous promise, that he can make Mexico pay for a 2,000-mile border wall which will stop both illegal migration and drug smuggling: a nonsensical claim that reliably provokes roars of delight at Trump rallies, and chants of “Build That Wall”.

    Mrs Clinton has now revealed that two aspects of the Trump phenomenon appal her. She is disgusted by how many of her countrymen cheer his nastiest attacks on women and minorities—though she later expressed regret for saying that she thinks fully “half” his supporters are prejudiced. She also sorrows that so many are wretched enough to fall for his empty promises—though, during her riff in Manhattan about understanding Trump-fans, she correctly noted that those pinning their hopes on the Republican may not buy “everything that he says”. Conventional wisdom holds that her disgust will hurt her more than her sorrow. The Trump campaign clearly agrees, rushing out TV ads for use in battleground states, replaying the “deplorables” line and accusing Mrs Clinton of “viciously demonising hard-working people like you.” Conventional wisdom is wrong. Calling Trump-backers bigots is a gamble that could yet pay off. Greater peril lurks in telling them that they are marks for a con-man.

    True, Mrs Clinton’s analysis of Trumpian bigotry was horribly sweeping. At one point she called some Trump voters “irredeemable”, which was inexcusable. She has further enraged conservatives: some Trump-backers struck defiant poses in hastily printed “Deplorables” T-shirts. But here is another truth, born of today’s deep partisan divisions. Most Trump-backers were lost to Mrs Clinton long ago. If she is lucky, her words will help her, by firing up apathetic Democrats and by depressing the Trump vote among squeamish Republicans—among them moderate professionals and suburban women who do not want to back a bigot.

    If the question from enraged Trump voters is: “Who are you calling racists?”, Mrs Clinton may yet feel safe staring them down. The rest of the political establishment is more or less comfortable weighing that question, too: rival politicians, journalists and the fact-checkers employed by news outlets are all accustomed to assessing claims that a given policy will have an outsize impact on a particular race, ethnicity or religious group. Instead, it is another question from Trump-backers that makes political professionals squirm with discomfort, including many reporters and pundits. That question is: “Are you calling us stupid?” Social class makes that discomfort still sharper, as polls and campaign-trail interviews reveal how much of Mr Trump’s support comes from blue-collar whites who hail him not just a candidate, but a champion who sees the world as they do and speaks for them, only with the authority of a fabulously successful businessman.

    Fact-checking a peddler of dreams

    In short, Mr Trump has brilliantly manoeuvred himself into a place in which fact-checking him sounds like snobbery. As his campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, has bragged: “He’s built a movement and people are proud to be a part of it. When you insult him, you insult them.” That makes the presidential debates, set to start on September 26th, more important than ever: they are Mrs Clinton’s best chance to challenge Mr Trump’s nonsense directly, without seeming to scold his fans. The Republican is already trying to intimidate the moderators, growling that debates will be “rigged”. Good. That means he knows what is at stake

    Economist

  • one only has to look at how successful socialist venezuela is today to see the reality of the obama/female felon vision for america.

    the creators of ideas, jobs and industry, the john galts, have been defeated, leaving the looters and enablers in charge to redistribute the socialist promise of poverty and misery to everyone.

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