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Monday, February 18, 2008

 4:05 PM 

Obama's wife asks voters to 'dream a little'

MILWAUKEE -- Michelle Obama, the wife of presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama, encouraged Wisconsin voters to "dream a little" when casting their votes during the primary tomorrow.

At a stop in Milwaukee, Obama said electing her husband president would prove to Americans that they can achieve the impossible and do anything.

"Everything begins and ends with dreaming," said Obama to a crowd of several hundred at the Pabst Theater. She drew about 700 to an event later in the day at the Overture Center in Madison.



Michelle highlighted Obama's resume, saying he has more years of legislative experience than his Dem opponent, Hillary Clinton. She also highlighted Obama's work expanding healthcare for kids in the state of Illinois and in passing ethics reform.

Obama touted her husband's opposition to the war in Iraq.

"We were a country afraid, and we had leadership that manipulated that fear," Obama said.

She said her husband was the only candidate "who had the courage to stand up" and oppose the war from the outset, first taking that stand during his primary election for U.S. Senate in Illinois.

Michelle spoke of the disbelief many had in her husband's campaign, saying in Madison he "overcame a lot of odds." Earning enough campaign dollars, creating a successful political organization, winning the Iowa caucus and cutting into Sen. Hillary Clinton's national poll numbers were many of the bars said to be impossible to overcome that Obama was able to "leap over," she said.

"What we've learned this year is hope is making a comeback," she said.

These challenges are similar to those "regular folks" face each day, Obama said, adding that hope and inspiration will "lower the bar" that continues to rise and help Americans reach their dreams.

She refuted the charges that her husband is untested, saying he learned the ropes in the rough-and-tumble world of Chicago politics.

"Folks here in Wisconsin should understand - we live in Chicago," she said in Madison. "Barack has seen it all. He's tough enough."

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Ald. Willie L. Hines Jr. were among those in attendance. Barrett's wife, Kris, and Congresswoman Gwen Moore introduced Obama.

In Madison, she was introduced by Tia Nelson, daughter of former Wisconsin Gov. and U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson, and was accompanied by Jessica Doyle, wife of Gov. Jim Doyle.

Listen to audio from the Madison appearance here.

-- By Rebecca Kontowicz and Greg Bump

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