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First Lady Michelle Obama Launches New Campaign, Tells Voters 'It Takes One'

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Essence.com was one of a few media outlets invited to an “on-the record” conversation with First Lady Michelle Obama on Thursday, July 19th to discuss “It Takes One”, a new Obama for America initiative that aims to enlist every supporter nationwide to help continue building the campaign's grassroots organization between now and November.

The First Lady was to officially launch the program during campaign stops in the battleground state of Virginia on Friday at an Obama for Women event in Charlottesville, but had to cancel her appearance due to the tragic shootings that took place in Aurora, Colorado at a screening of Dark Knight Rises.

Announced in a campaign video to supporters on Thursday, Mrs. Obama emphasized that the "It Takes One" initiative will focus on the impact that every single person can have in this election. Whether it's by registering one new voter or talking to one more neighbor every week, "It Takes One" urges supporters who haven't yet gotten engaged in the election to start small – and to never underestimate the value of their contribution.

In a call with Mrs. Obama late Thursday afternoon, however, she went into a more in depth discussion of the initiative as she spoke exclusively with select female journalists and columnists. She was joined on the call by Deputy Campaign Manager, Stephanie Cutter, who started off by saying, "This campaign will not be won by pundits or talking heads." It was clear that the Obama campaign plans to refocus on its grassroots strength and utilize the First Lady’s star power to try and win female voters and call a new generation of women voters to get engaged in the political process.

When asked by one reporter why women should get engaged in this election at the grassroots, Mrs. Obama replied, “Women have a lot at stake in this election, and those who have a lot at stake should be engaged on all levels.” The First Lady mentioned how critical she felt it was for people to use their personal “connections” with neighbors, and friends to attract “swing voters”. She talked about the fact that there is “power in relationships” and the goal of this new initiative is to get people to tap into that power on behalf of the President’s re-election bid and for the good of America.

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