On the Trail in Denver

BlogHer Original Post

Hello from Colorado! Last night, I attended the first presidential debate at the University of Denver, and I could not have been more proud of Barack. These debates are always pretty nerve-wracking for me to watch, but they’re an important part of our democratic process, and I think anyone who tuned in saw that we have a very clear choice to make this fall.

Michelle Obama watching the Oct. 3 presidential debate

Of course, the biggest choice we’re going to make in this election is about the direction we’re going to take our economy. Barack talked about his vision for an economy based on the values we all share: hard work, responsibility, and fairness. He believes in preserving the American Dream for the next generation by making sure that everyone gets a fair shot, and the deck isn’t stacked against the middle class.

In November we’ll make a choice that determines whether we continue building on the progress we’ve made – more than 5 million jobs over the last 30 months -– or whether we go back to policies that benefited those at the top while squeezing the middle class.

Last night, Barack also talked about two of his other top priorities as President, health reform and education. Barack believes that no one in this country should have to worry about going broke because of an accident or an illness. And, as Barack has said, no family should have to set aside a college acceptance letter because they don’t have the money to pay for tuition.

That’s why Barack fought hard for health reform that ends discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions; that requires insurance companies to provide basic preventive care like cancer screening and contraception without a co-pay; and that lets out kids stay on our insurance until they’re 26 years old. And Barack doubled funding for Pell Grants, helping millions of young people afford their tuition. Because he remembers what it was like for us – how back when we were first married, our combined monthly student loan bills were higher than our mortgage. And he wants all our kids to be able to get the education they need for the jobs of the future without amassing a mountain of debt.

As women, the choice in this election is even more clear. Barack has made it easier for women to get equal pay. He has stood up for our rights to make our own decisions about our bodies and our health care. And because of the health reform he passed, insurance companies can no longer charge women more than men for the very same health care.

Barack and I also marked another important milestone in the Mile High City yesterday: our 20th wedding anniversary. And as I watched the debate last night, I thought about how our country might look 20 years from now. I thought about the kind of world I want to leave behind for our daughters –- and all of our kids. And as Barack spoke about his values and his vision for our country – a vision for an America where, if you work hard, you can build a good life for yourself and an even better life for your kids – I think the choice became even more clear.

With so much at stake, I hope everyone will get registered and vote this fall. If you’re unsure of how to do that, GottaVote.com is a one-stop resource with information for voters in every state. And, of course, I hope to see many of you out on the campaign trail between now and November.

Editor’s Note: BlogHer has reached out to both candidates to ask for their perspectives, as well as those of their wives, on what’s at stake in the election. Thanks to Ms. Obama for continuing the conversation she started four years ago with the BlogHer community. -- Stacy Morrison

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