About 250 Iowans have been standing in a neighborhood conference center in Windsor Heights, Iowa, since about 2:15 p.m. this afternoon, awaiting the arrival of First Lady Michelle Obama. Another 150 are waiting outside in a tent to watch a video feed of her remarks.
Two women in the crowd stand out, figuratively, for their attire. Seventy-nine-year-old Carol Briggs of Des Moines is an Obama supporter who’s wearing a sort of Rosie the Riveter image featuring Michelle Obama flexing her muscle. Briggs has been volunteering at the Obama campaign office every Tuesday night, making phone calls for the campaign. “I want him in there so bad,” Briggs said of the 2012 election. Of Michelle Obama, Briggs said: “Oh, she is so pretty.”
Debby Prescott of Ames, a 55-year-old nurse, was living in Ghana for two years (she worked in an orphanage), shortly after President Obama’s visit there. She bought commemorative material made in Ghana and had three shifts made before she left Africa. She wore the one she kept for herself today. “I’m here with my volunteer staff from Ames,” Prescott said. “Right now we’re in the phone-call/door-to-door (phase).”
Prescott said Obama has succeeded “in spite of” his GOP critics. “I feel like he’s Prometheus, pushing that rock,” Prescott said. “…And yet he has made accomplishments that are taking our country in the right direction.”
Every once in a while someone goes on stage to keep the crowd occupied (although the air conditioning is working famously and people are kibitzing pretty easily on their own to pass the time). The first person behind the microphone was Deirdre DeJean, a local volunteer for the Obama campaign.
She spoke for about 4 minutes. AUDIO of her remarks.