First Lady fires up Jacksonville supporters

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Thousands packed the Prime Osborn Convention Center for First Lady Michelle Obama's appearance Thursday at a rally in support of her husband's reelection.

"Five days. Get to work. We're going to make this happen right here in Florida," she told the crowd.

A line at the Prime Osborn Convention Center on 1000 Water Street in downtown Jacksonville began forming by 5 a.m. The first lady took the stage about 1:15 p.m., but Stevie Wonder performed several songs for the crowd as they waited.

Mrs. Obama started her remarks by expressing sympathy and support of those hurting after Hurricane Sandy came ashore in New Jersey at the beginning of the week. Then it was all about how important it is to give her husband a second term in office.

"What we do over these next five days will absolutely make the difference between us waking up the day after Election Day and asking ourselves 'Could we have done more?' or feeling the promise of four more years," Mrs. Obama said.

UNCUT:  Michelle Obama's remarks in Jacksonville

As early voting continues across the state, Mrs. Obama is trying to firm up her husband's message about what he believes is at stake for Florida voters going into next week's election.

"There are more and more signs every day that we are headed in the right direction," she said. "Exports have grown by 45 percent; manufacturers have added 500,000 jobs; we've had 31 straight months of private-sector job growth -- the majority of the president's term -- 5.2 million new jobs right here in the United States of America."

Mrs. Obama also urged people to volunteer for in the final days of the campaign, and to make sure everyone they know votes.

Yvonne Todd, a school guidance counselor, has never volunteered for a campaign until this year, but getting ready to retire, she's talking to others about her support of Obama's Medicare policy.

"There is so much at stake, so I lose sleep at night and I'm staying on my knees praying," Todd said.

President Obama cancelled his appearance in Orlando on Monday as Hurricane Sandy prepared to make landfall and has since been using surrogates, including former president Bill Clinton, to keep a presence in a state that is expected to play a huge role in whether he wins a second term.

He did return to the campaign on Thursday and is expected in South Florida on Sunday.

After her Jacksonville stop, the first lady traveled south to campaign events in Daytona Beach and Miami.

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