LYNN SWEET WASHINGTON — With polls showing African Americans yet to give overwhelming support to White House hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), his wife, Michelle, said “black America will wake up and get it” in an interview with MSNBC.
Michelle Obama predicted the surveys are “not going to hold,” in an interview taped in Des Moines, Iowa, on Sunday to air this morning on MSNBC. Her comments come as Obama heads toward Thursday’s Democratic debate in Las Vegas with momentum: new polls in New Hampshire show Obama is gaining over front-runner Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.); he delivered a well-received speech and demonstrated organizational force at Saturday’s Iowa Democratic Party dinner, and he emerged from a “Meet the Press” grilling unscathed.
In order to leverage the bump, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe said in a fund-raising e-mail sent Monday, “We need to react quickly to build on this moment.” He also set an $850,000 Internet fund-raising goal in order to eliminate one of the major fund-raising events Obama has in the coming weeks “so Barack can spend as much time in Iowa as possible.”
In an interview clip running on Monday, Michelle Obama invoked the name of civil rights leaders Rosa Parks and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. when talking about African-American turnout, a crucial voting bloc if Obama is to win. Michelle Obama said there was a “natural fear of possibility” and that there were times in her life when she was put down or told she’s “not ready.” There is “always that doubt in the minds of people of color,” she said. She said the African-American community has to shake off “that fear.”
“That’s what we want to show our community,” Michelle Obama said. “. . . We can do this too.” SNBC’s Mika Brzezinski landed the exclusive with Michelle Obama. Her father, Zbigniew Brzezinski, is one of Barack Obama’s national security advisers. Monday night, Michelle Obama and designer Maria Pinto, whose clothes Michelle Obama wears, headlined a fund-raiser at a home on Chicago’s North Side for the presidential campaign.