Michelle Obama makes stop in Castle Rock

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Michelle Obama made a stop at the Douglas County Events Center, where more than 3,100 supporters welcomed the first lady during a one-day tour from Durango to Colorado Springs.

Obama proved why she ranks among her husband's most valuable assets during an Oct. 10 stop in Castle Rock, captivating the crowd with a 30-minute speech that hit the key points of his presidency.

With fewer than 30 days left before Election Day, Obama visited what she termed a potential “swing state” with a campaign speech that painted a picture of her husband's humble beginnings and built upon his policy issues that ranged from health-care reform to equality in the workplace.

“I want to make sure people understand Barack Obama knows the American dream because he's lived it,” she said. “He has been fighting every day so that everyone can have that same opportunity no matter who we are, what we look like or who we love.”

The events center welcomed a ticketed, standing-room-only crowd much different than the Republican-centric crowd that typically fills the venue during a political gathering. In a county where Republicans outnumber Democrats by more than two to one, the Obama/Biden ticket might have been aiming for Douglas County's registered voters who are not affiliated with a major party.

Out of nearly 212,000 registered voters in Douglas County, about 33 percent are registered as “other” party affiliates, according to www.DouglasVotes.com.

Party affiliation wasn't an issue to most in attendance at the Obama event. Emotion was what mattered to those at the rally, and Obama raised the emotional bar several notches for the people who were randomly selected to join her on stage.

Event organizers picked about 50 visitors from among the waiting crowd more than an hour in advance as people from across the Front Range arrived throughout the morning to see Obama speak. Among those chosen were families from Highlands Ranch, Lone Tree, Parker and Castle Rock.

For Lindalee Johnson, of Parker, and her 13-year-old son Connor, it was an “unbelievable chance of a lifetime,” she said.

Lindalee Johnson came away with a conviction to head directly to the Obama campaign office and volunteer for the 26 days remaining in the campaign, she said.

Connor Johnson is counting a different set of days.

“I can't wait to vote,” Connor Johnson said. “Only five more years.”

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