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Thursday, August 23, 2012

 12:57 PM 

Crowd gathers before Michelle Obama's Milwaukee visit



Thousands of people have arrived hours early at Bradley Tech High School on Milwaukee's near south side in hopes of seeing First Lady Michelle Obama, who is scheduled to speak at the school at 2 p.m.

The first lady is scheduled to hold a private meeting with members of the Sikh community afterward.

Lines are stretching for blocks in front of the school, and it's a diverse crowd of young and old, black and white. Volunteers say all the free tickets to the event were quickly snapped up. Between 2,500 and 2,800 free tickets were given away, reflecting the capacity of the gym, according to campaign spokeswoman Gillian Morris.

State Sen. Lena Taylor, D-Milwaukee, told WisPolitics before the event started that Mrs. Obama's presence is particularly electrifying for women.

"I'm seeing women who have got to be twice my age here," Taylor said. "First Lady Obama has been a key person on the discussion of all things that matter to women, whether it's women's health, our children and families, eating healthy, going back to gardening and farming. I'm excited because she has been to my district and supports my only farmer, Mr. Will Allen."

Taylor compared Obama to Eleanor Roosevelt "because she's not afraid to roll up her sleeves and get her hands dirty" and she "reminds us of our commonality."

Mayor Tom Barrett told WisPolitics beforehand that he hopes Mrs. Obama focuses on the middle class and how we need a president who will support the middle class.

-- By Kay Nolan
For WisPolitics.com


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