Sunday, April 22, 2018
Politics

First lady stumps for President Obama in Fla.

With her husband tied up much of the week managing the response to Superstorm Sandy, first lady Michelle Obama arrived in Florida Thursday to speak to his supporters in Jacksonville, Daytona Beach and Miami.

She hammered at the importance of volunteers working to finish the final five days of the campaign strongly with ramped up get out the vote efforts.

In Miami, it was all about girl power. Obama spoke to a majority female, heavily Democratic crowd of about 4,000 people at the James L. Knight Center. She hit many of the same talking points as her speech at the Democratic National Convention, speaking about her husband's struggles, his respect for women and the important work he still had to accomplish in office.

"Just a few of you here could swing an entire precinct for Barack Obama," she told the crowd of supporters, who waved posters and occasionally interrupted her with chants of "four more years."

Grammy award-winning Latin singer Marc Anthony joined Obama in Daytona Beach and Miami, speaking before the first lady. Also teaming up with Obama and Anthony in Miami was Dwayne Wade's girlfriend, actress Gabrielle Union.

Earlier in the day, Wade was among the early voters in Miami.

The last person to introduce the first lady was Josefina Batista, 67, a team leader for West Miami with the Obama campaign.

Before the Knight Center crowd, Michelle Obama emphasize everything she said her husband had accomplished and seemed to gear her talk toward the women in the crowd.

She pointed out that President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, and she said his healthcare reform would keep health insurance companies from charging women more than men.

"My husband will always have our backs," she said.

In Daytona Beach, she told the crowd inside a packed convention hall that their continued commitment down the stretch could again help turn the tide in a state that saw her husband win by about 236,000 votes in 2008. Obama said that margin averaged to 36 votes per precinct in Florida, and added that "this room alone could make the difference."

Singer Stevie Wonder warmed up the crowd of 4,000 supporters in downtown Jacksonville, the first stop on the Florida tour.

Early voting is under way across the state and the first lady spent each stop trying to firm up President Obama's message about what he believes is at stake for Florida voters going into next week's election.

The president canceled his appearance in Orlando on Monday as Sandy prepared to make landfall and has since been using surrogates, including President Bill Clinton, to keep a presence in a state that is expected to play a huge role in whether he wins a second term.

It's why the first lady spent the majority of her speeches urging supporters to use early voting and to implore their friends and neighbors to do the same. This week officials said 2 million Floridians and 20 million people nationwide had already voted early either in-person or by absentee ballot.

Associated Press writer Kyle Hightower contributed to this report.

Comments
Trump says he doesn’t think personal lawyer will ‘flip’

Trump says he doesn’t think personal lawyer will ‘flip’

WEST PALM BEACH — President Donald Trump said Saturday that he doesn’t expect Michael Cohen, his longtime personal lawyer and fixer, to "flip" as the government investigates Cohen’s business dealings. Trump, in a series of tweets fired from Florida o...
Published: 04/21/18

Vive la France: Trump hosts glitzy White House state dinner

WASHINGTON — Now it’s President Donald Trump’s turn to pull off the ultimate charm offensive. Wined and dined on multiple state visits during his tour of Asia last year, Trump is paying it forward and celebrating nearly 250 years of U.S.-French relat...
Published: 04/21/18
Romano: Okay, now who sounds like a hysterical teen talking about guns?

Romano: Okay, now who sounds like a hysterical teen talking about guns?

The writer of the letter sounds hysterical. Perhaps a little desperate. And maybe that’s just who Marion Hammer is these days.Most of the world knows her as the take-no-prisoners maven of the National Rifle Association who directs Florida politicians...
Published: 04/21/18
Ex-FBI deputy director ‘disappointed’ in Comey comments

Ex-FBI deputy director ‘disappointed’ in Comey comments

WASHINGTON — Andrew McCabe, the former FBI deputy director, is "very upset and disappointed" by comments made by his former boss James Comey that contradict his account of a disclosure to the news media, McCabe’s lawyer said Friday. "Andy has at all ...
Published: 04/20/18
Carlton: Mayor’s race: plot twists, meteoric rises, candidate implosions. It’s what we do in Tampa.

Carlton: Mayor’s race: plot twists, meteoric rises, candidate implosions. It’s what we do in Tampa.

The one thing you can say for sure about electing a mayor in Tampa is you can’t really say anything for sure.Historical proof: A couple of elections ago, Harvard-educated hometown-boy-gone-to-Washington Frank Sanchez was going to be our next mayor, h...
Published: 04/20/18
Carlton: Kids, want to make them listen? Vote

Carlton: Kids, want to make them listen? Vote

Today across America, high school students are expected to walk out of class in their latest show of solidarity against gun violence and elected officials unwilling to do much about it. It marks a grim anniversary — 19 years since Columbine bra...
Published: 04/20/18
Castor ends speculation: She’s running to be Tampa’s next mayor

Castor ends speculation: She’s running to be Tampa’s next mayor

TAMPA — For months, Tampa political aficionados have speculated: Will she or won’t she?Does Jane Castor, the city’s first woman police chief and presumed heavyweight mayoral candidate, really want the job? Asked and answered. Castor filed paperwork T...
Published: 04/19/18
Everybody loses in a trade war, Canadian chamber CEO warns Tampa officials

Everybody loses in a trade war, Canadian chamber CEO warns Tampa officials

TAMPA — President Donald Trump has tweeted "trade wars are good, and easy to win."Don’t believe it, the president of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce told Tampa business and political leaders on Wednesday."We share more with you than with anybody els...
Published: 04/19/18
Hernando clerk of the court announces resignation to run for judicial seat

Hernando clerk of the court announces resignation to run for judicial seat

BROOKSVILLE — Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller Don Barbee this week submitted his resignation — effective Jan. 7 — to run for an open circuit judge seat.Barbee, who is in the middle of his second term, said he made the move "with a tremendo...
Published: 04/17/18
Poll: Democrats’ advantage in midterm election support is shrinking

Poll: Democrats’ advantage in midterm election support is shrinking

Democrats hold an advantage ahead of the midterm elections, but a Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that edge has narrowed since January, a signal to party leaders and strategists that they could be premature in anticipating a huge wave of victorie...
Published: 04/16/18