First lady Michelle Obama is stepping onto the political stage and launching a nationwide effort to motivate every supporter of President Barack Obama to get more involved in his re-election campaign — and bring along somebody else, too.
The "It Takes One" program encourages supporters to make a difference in this year's election, and to "start by taking one action that will help grow our campaign," Mrs. Obama says. In a three-minute video message to supporters, Mrs. Obama tells supporters that in light of a tighter election than 2008 likely this fall, "in the end, it could all come down to those last few thousand votes in a single state."
The first lady spoke with the Tom Joyner Morning show today and urged supporters to fight voter suppression and get out and vote.
"In this election, we're going to be making a choice about how we want our democracy run. Do we want our President selected by people rolling their sleeves up, knocking on doors, or are we going to hand it over to a couple of people who write big checks?" said the first lady.
Read the full transcript of the first lady's interview with the Tom Joyner Morning Show below.
Tom Joyner: Good morning, Ms. First Lady.
Mrs. Obama: Good morning, Tom. How are you guys doing over there?
Tom Joyner: Doing good. Doing good. Where are you?
Mrs. Obama: I'm in Washington. I'm heading out –
Tom Joyner: At the White House?
Mrs. Obama: Yes. I'm heading out on the road, so I'm sitting here, looking out over the Monument. But I'm about to get out there and start campaigning.
Tom Joyner: That's a big, old house. Is it hard to keep cool in this hot summer?
Mrs. Obama: You know, they've got the heat and the air-conditioning pretty much down here. So I can't say that we're sweltering over here. But it is definitely hot in D.C.
Tom Joyner: Yes. How's your mom? How is Mrs. Robinson?
Mrs. Obama: She is good. She's in Chicago. The girls have a few weeks at camp, and she gets out of here. So she's actually in Chicago. Hey, Mom.
Tom Joyner: Hey, Ms. Robinson. (Laughter.) So the girls — they went over to London?
Mrs. Obama: They did not, because I was only there for a couple of days and they go to this sports camp. And the decision was, do you not go to sports camp at all, or do you come for two days with me to London? And they were like, bye. (Laughter.) See you, Mom. Good luck with that.
Tom Joyner: Yes. How about that Gabby, huh? How about that Gabby.
Mrs. Obama: Oh, my goodness, so proud of her, so proud. Just amazing. I mean, Barack and I always say, you know what, all those gymnasts, given what they do, they should get a medal — something, all of them. If you can flip up in the air on that little pole, if you can — it's just amazing what they do, and the amount of training and focus — I'm just in awe and very proud of her.
Tom Joyner: Your babies aren’t in gymnastic class?
Mrs. Obama: My babies are too tall. We are too tall. We don't bend that way. (Laughter.) When you see the Olympics, you see your body type, and our body type is not the gymnast body type.
Tom Joyner: Are they the basketball player type?
Mrs. Obama: We are basketball player type, a little volleyball player type. Lots of leg. Lots of leg. (Laughter.) Can't get around that pole, can't get all that leg around. (Laughter.)
Tom Joyner: Okay. I'm going to go to break. And when I come back at the top of the hour, I'm going to play this jingle we did when the Big Chief sang the Al Green song. We mixed that down and made it into a –
Mrs. Obama: Oh, my goodness. (Laughter.)
Tom Joyner: And by the way, I heard you're a really big fan of Eric Benet, right?
Mrs. Obama: Oh, yes, yes. I saw Eric Benet and Ledisi — I'm a huge fan of Ledisi. She blew out her concert. But yes, yes, I love — they are true singers.
Tom Joyner: All right, we might have to have a little tussle here first over Eric Benet. All respect to you, but I'm just saying — (laughter.)
Mrs. Obama: I like his voice. (Laughter.)
Tom Joyner: Okay, who's the better singer — Eric Benet or the Big Chief?
Mrs. Obama: Oh, goes without saying, Barack Obama.
Sybil Wilkes: Hello. (Laughter.)
Mrs. Obama: I mean, please.
Sybil Wilkes: Do you know where she lives, who's she's married to? (Laughter.)
Mrs. Obama: No contest.
Tom Joyner: She's calling today about a program called, "It Takes One." And when we come back we're going the talk about "It Takes One." On The Tom Joyner Morning Show with the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama.
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Mrs. Obama: So, Sybil, you don't like Eric.
Sybil Wilkes: Oh no, I love Eric. Oh, no, we have history.
Mrs. Obama: Oh, really? I didn't know that.
Sybil Wilkes: No, no — history in my head.
Mrs. Obama: Oh, okay. I see, I see. There is the history in the head part. (Laughter.)
Sybil Wilkes: You understand.
Mrs. Obama: I understand. That's how good he is — he breaks through the history in your head.
Sybil Wilkes: That's right.
Tom Joyner: Do you play Eric Benet on the plane and in the cars –
Mrs. Obama: I always have my iPod with me — everywhere I go, every minute I have a second, I've got music in my head, just blocking it out so –
Tom Joyner: If you go to the most recent played, Eric Benet, number one?
Mrs. Obama: Well, he's not number one. He's on there, but Stevie is my guy — Stevie Wonder. You know, come on now.
Tom Joyner: You fell in love with Stevie Wonder.
Mrs. Obama: You know, it's over with Stevie. Stevie even beats out Barack. (Laughter.)
Tom Joyner: Whoa! That's my President you're talking about there. (Laughter.)
Mrs. Obama: You know, he's a good President, but Stevie Wonder is a musical genius. (Laughter.)
Tom Joyner: Hold up, hold up.
Sybil Wilkes: And he sings a nice little ditty, but he is no Stevie, huh?
Mrs. Obama: I'm just saying. He's pretty talented, that Stevie Wonder character. (Laughter.)
Tom Joyner: Who are the girls listening to these days?
Mrs. Obama: Oh, gosh. Well, you know, Beyonce is a huge favorite. And Malia is like — oh, God, who is this — Odd Future. She is just sort of — she played me some of the — she was like, this may be inappropriate for you, Mom. So I'm like, are you really, seriously trying to prep me for a song? (Laughter.) We're at that stage where she is like — I was like, let me hear what you're listening to. She is like, well, this is a little — the language is a little rough for you.
Tom Joyner: There comes a time. There comes a time.
Mrs. Obama: And she turned me on to Elle Varner. I got her — so I got a couple of her cute, little songs on there. Malia hooked me up — into Elle Varner. So they're the usual. They're not too much into the Eric- Bieber kind of stuff. They like the music — they like One Direction, although I don't know their music as well. They like the tried and true artists.