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His wife pinch-hits on the trail

'What I know is, my husband, Barack Obama, gets it.'

October 25, 2008|Mark Silva | Silva is a staff writer for the Chicago Tribune.

COLUMBUS, OHIO — With the Democratic nominee for president in Hawaii to visit his gravely ill grandmother, Michelle Obama took her husband's place on the campaign trail Friday.

She echoed Barack Obama's argument contrasting him with Republican nominee John McCain on the economy: McCain, the Obama campaign maintains, "doesn't get it."

"What I know is, my husband, Barack Obama, gets it," she said. "He gets it."

She said Madelyn Dunham, her husband's grandmother -- whom he calls Toot -- is an inspiration.

"She's tough," Michelle Obama said. "I asked Barack the other day, 'How are you doing this [campaigning]? You are tough.' He said, 'I got my toughness from Toot.' . . .

"So, 11 days to go," she said, looking at ease on the stump. . "That's how we greet each other in the campaign -- we say, 'How ya doin'?' . . . 'Eleven.'

What's at stake in this election, she said, is her children's future.

It's "the American dream that we are fighting for," she said. "When I think of the issues that are at stake in this election . . . how we're going to fix this broken economy . . . how we're going to fix a broken healthcare system . . . how we're going to end this war, how we're going to clean up the environment, all these issues to me aren't political issues. They are personal.

'We're all feeling it now," she said. "And if you're not feeling it, you're living real close to someone who is."

Barack Obama is to resume campaigning today.

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