First Lady Michelle Obama accomplishes two goals in Richmond visit

RICHMOND (WWBT) - It seems like when it comes to politics, the candidates for the republican nomination for president are the ones getting all the attention. But in Central Virginia today it was all about Team Obama.

First Lady Michelle Obama was in town to unveil a new plan to help veterans return home and help her husband's re-election.

Polls show the First Lady is very popular, in some respects more popular than her husband.  During his administration she has latched on to an issue that is easy to get behind regardless of party- military families. Today in the swing state of Virginia, she never came right out and said it. but it was clear that re-electing her husband will allow her work to continue.

At an event at VCU, a quiet and respectful crowd heard Mrs. Obama lay out the case for better care for soldiers returning home from war.

"But it will mean real work," Mrs. Obama said of the initiative. "It will mean every single one of us doing our part."

The venue and the backdrop showed the First Lady at her best. Even though she never once mentioned the president's re-election, and only specifically mentioned his policies briefly, the setting in a swing state in a re-election year spoke volumes. She passionately made the case that she would do everything she could to help America's military families.

"No matter where you are and no matter what you are going through," she said. "Please know that America will be there for you and your families."

While the event at VCU perhaps only implied the benefit of re-electing President Obama, the two other events headlined by the First Lady made no doubt. She brought in 300 people paying at least $500 a pop to a fundraiser Wednesday afternoon at the Marriott. She did the same later that night in Charlottesville.

During her remarks in Richmond, Mrs Obama spoke her husband's praises.

"Your President just keeps moving forward, because so importantly he has a vision for this country," and then telling the president's supporters, "He cannot do this alone. Never could.  He needs your help."

But back at VCU she was all business, challenging future doctors to take up the cause of the soldiers sitting on either side of them.

"So this country is counting on you... no pressure," she joked before getting serious. "We are counting on you to do just that."

A challenge that will be very similar to the one made to those who wish to see the president re-elected.

This issue of finding new ways to treat soldiers suffering from illness like PTSD is something that has bi-partisan support.  Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Henrico), the House Majority Leader, said today that he is committed to making sure that veterans receive the best medical care possible.

VCU is one of 130 different medical colleges who have agreed to take part in the "joining forces" program, that help develop new treatments for post traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury.

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