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First Lady Michelle Obama will deliver the keynote address to the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s annual awards dinner later this month while President Barack Obama campaigns for re-election to the White House.

For the first time ever, Michelle Obama will headline the CBCF’s Phoenix Awards Dinner on Sept. 22, the White House confirmed Tuesday.

“We are so pleased that Mrs. Obama will serve as the keynote speaker for the awards dinner,” Elsie L. Scott, president and chief executive officer for CBCF, said in a statement.  "As a former CBC Spouse, Mrs. Obama is quite familiar with our mission at the Foundation, and we are certain that her remarks will be both thought provoking, and most importantly, inspire our audience to do their part to prepare the next generation of leaders."

Obama is one of the most popular first lady’s in history. According to a Gallup poll, 66 percent of Americans have a favorable view of Michelle Obama, which is unchanged from nearly two years ago. And here’s an interesting fact: Michelle Obama’s approval ratings are higher than President Barack Obama, which is why she is the president’s most effective surrogate.

Michelle Obama will be filling in for the president as a time when new polls show Obama extending his lead over Republican challenger Mitt Romney by six points after last week’s Democratic National Convention.  According to the CNN/ORC International Poll, 52% of likely voters nationwide back the president, compared with 46% for Romney. Just before the Democratic convention, Obama was tied with Romney 48%-48%.

The first-lady’s appearance before 3,000 guests at the CBCF dinner also comes as President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney are heading into the home stretch of the campaign vying for a critical voting bloc: Women.

Obama leads Romney with women voters by 10 points nationwide, according to a new CBS poll, and Obama’s lead is even larger in some of the key swing states. In polls done in August by Quinnipiac, CBS News and The New York Times, Obama’s lead with female voters was 14 points in Virginia, 13 in Ohio, and 12 points in Florida.

But the Obama campaign, which is leaving nothing to chance, dispatched First Lady Michelle Obama to speak to a woman’s caucus at the Democratic National Convention where she rallied women to support the president.

“The values we are talking about are ones we all hold dear,” she said. “That hard work should be rewarded. That’s how we were raised. Everyone in this country has something special and valuable and that we should all have a fair chance to succeed if we’re willing to put that work in, which we are,” Michelle Obama said at the women’s caucus meeting.

“There are women all over this country who are doing that work, playing that critical role in making that vision a reality because we have to work for that vision, women,” Michelle Obama said. “It just doesn’t happen.”

The first lady appeared on “Late Night With Jay Leno” two weeks ago with Olympic gold-medalist Gabbie Douglas, and on Thursday, Michelle Obama will travel to Virginia, where she will speak to grassroots supporters in Fredericksburg and Central Virginia.

Four years ago, Obama won the women's vote by 13 points. Today, African American  women support Obama overwhelmingly, but that isn’t stopping women like Mia Love — a black Republican who is running for Congress and proudly supporting Romney.

Love, a member of the tea party and a Mormon from Utah, is hoping to become the first black female Republican elected to the

House. She says women have suffered under Obama’s presidency.

“To me, it’s about choice, and I want more free choice and liberties,” she said.

Love told “Fox News Sunday” that she is pro-life and that Republicans are trying to protect the lives of unborn children. Love also accused Democrats of distracting attention from “failed policies” by claiming that Republicans are waging a war on women.

Meanwhile, Michelle Obama will be speaking to a friendly audience at the CBCF conference where she will undoubtedly talk about the president and rally the faithful two months before Election Day.

"Barack knows the American Dream because he’s lived it, and he wants everyone in this country to have the same opportunity, no matter who we are, or where we’re from, or what we look like, or who we love,’’ Michelle Obama said during her speech at last week's Democratic National Convention.

"So when people ask me whether being in the White House has changed my husband,” she said, “I can honestly say that when it comes to his character, and his convictions, and his heart, Barack Obama is still the same man I fell in love with all those years ago.’’


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