Kansas City, MO * 12:00 PM CT/1:00 PM ET – First Lady Michelle Obama will arrive at Kansas City International Airport where she will be greeted by Missouri Army National Guard service members and their families. Among those greeting Mrs. Obama will be Sergeant Jeremy Neece, who joined the Missouri National Guard in 1997. Sergeant Neece was deployed overseas on three tours of duty, two in Iraq and one in Afghanistan, and awarded the Bronze Star Medal for his exceptional service in a combat zone. Also greeting Mrs. Obama will be Sergeant Ian Rydzel, who, during his 14 years of service in the Missouri National Guard, has deployed as a firefighter to both Bosnia and Iraq. Rydzel, a school teacher in civilian life, will be joined by his wife Krissondra and four year old son, Declan.
To amend chapter 10, RSMo, by adding thereto one new section relating to the designation of the official state exercise.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of Missouri, as follows:
Section A. Chapter 10, RSMo, is amended by adding thereto one new section, to be known as section 10.115, to read as follows:
10.115. The exercise commonly known and referred to as “jumping jacks”, which was invented by Missouri-born General John J. Pershing as a drill exercise for cadets when he was a tactical officer at West Point in the late 1800s, is selected for and shall be known as the official exercise of the state of Missouri.
….Back in October, the First Lady joined students, teachers, and parents from all over the country to reach for a big goal: partnering with National Geographic Kids to break the world record for the number of people doing jumping jacks in a 24-hour period. The old record was over 20,000 people, so trying to break it was no small feat.
Today, we’re proud to announce that with your help, 300,265 people jumped that day! Breaking the record is a huge accomplishment. But we still have a lot of work left to do to meet an even bigger goal: ending childhood obesity within a generation so all children have a chance to grow up healthy and strong.
To reach that goal, we need to make sure that all kids are getting the nutrition they need, have a chance to be active each day and get support from our schools, families and communities. That’s what Let’s Move! is all about.
Yeah, that’s got to doom the bill in the General Assembly.
First Lady Michelle Obama addressed the NAACP National Convention for its first plenary session, focusing her remarks on the problems of childhood obesity and her effort to address the problem through her Let’s Move campaign. Prior to her speech Senator Claire McCaskill (D) and Congressman Emanuel Cleaver (D) addressed the audience with brief remarks.
First Lady Michelle Obama speaking at the NAACP National Convention in Kansas City.
Yeah, we know. The main press riser was 110 feet from the stage and we weren’t lugging a 400 mm telephoto lens because they’re really heavy and we can’t afford one.
Senator Claire McCaskill (D).
Representative Emanuel Cleaver (D).
Photographers on the main press riser.
The much smaller cut riser to the right of the stage was so packed it looked like a raft with survivors of the Titanic, except in this case they were holding really expensive cameras.
An introductory hug – Roslyn Brock, Chairman of the NAACP National Board of Directors, greets First Lady Michelle Obama after introducing her.
There was standing room only at the back of the seating area.
A standing ovation from the audience after Michelle Obama’s speech.
NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous speaking to the media on the main press riser after Michelle Obama’s speech.
There was so much crowd noise after the session ended that we really couldn’t hear what anyone was saying on the press riser during the press availability. A credentialed still photographer handed me his high end camera and asked me to take a picture of him with Benjamin Todd Jealous. Guess what happens when you hand a Ferrari over to someone who doesn’t have one? The result ain’t pretty. And no, I didn’t drop the camera.
Right wingnuttia is quite obsessed by this portion of the transcript, claiming that it’s proof that President Obama is illegitimate and this is further proof to be added to the convoluted birther pantheon of conspiracies:
…He understands them because he was raised by strong women. He is the product of two great women in his life. His mother and his grandmother. [applause] Barack saw his mother, who was very young and very single when she had him, and he saw her work hard to complete her education and try to raise he and his sister…
I kid you not. These are the kinds of people who memorize and obsess over every detail of The Brady Bunch as if the complete episodes were Shakespeare’s plays. They just haven’t figured out that there is a difference.
The Faux News Channel will pick this up in, three, two, one… And that’s the problem with political discourse in this country.
At yesterday’s campaign rally I was ensconced in the media/press pen between the majority of the crowd and the stage. I ended up spending most of my time turning back away from the stage to photograph the faces in the crowd.
The sound system was cranking tunes while we waited for the event to start. A significant group of women started swaying to the music and waving their arms. You could hear them singing “…signed, sealed, delivered, I’m yours…”
The invocation included the words “….and vote and vote and vote and vote and vote and vote and vote…” The crowd answered with a loud “Amen!”
A sea of faces.
I started photographing this baby when she looked at me. In the last frame she started to reach out to me.
The crowd shows their red “commitment cards”.
As people streamed into the event volunteers got them to sign up and make a commitment to help the campaign in the following days, giving each a red “commitment card” after they had done so. A speaker asked everyone to show their cards.
Congressman Emanuel Cleaver.
“You go girl!”
A rather short woman kept straining to see through the obstruction of the media on a riser. Throughout the even she would respond to the speakers. When Michelle Obama made one particularly emphatic point the woman called out, “You go girl!”
View of the stage and the museums at 18th and Vine.from near the press risers.
Blue Girl and I have arrived and received our media credentials. We’ll have to step out of the area soon and then go through security. Live blogging may be touch and go for us since we won’t have workspace at the actual rally venue.
I’m not all that cynical usually, but I found myself getting there yesterday. Sitting there, watching the speakers on TV one after another praise Barack Obama the same way, I started getting cranky. It didn’t help that Wolf Blitzer was droning on and on in between and sometimes during the speeches, a situation I remedied by switching it to C-SPAN, which doesn’t have commentators at all. Good thing, too, because as I understand it, Claire McCaskill’s speech wasn’t televised on CNN any other network.
Watching all those speeches back to back reminded me that public officials aren’t necessarily very good public speakers. In fact, some of the non-electeds who had been given a speaking slot were just as good as those who had spent years in office.
Case in point: Michelle Obama. As she spoke, especially introduced by her mom in a short film presented before the speech, my cynicism melted away. It was the kind of speech that hits you in the gut, telling you her story, the kind of story we all want for ourselves and for our own kids. A woman that came through hard work from a struggling family to a successful law career and raise a family of her own, a picture passionately presented by Michelle. How could you not tear up a little when hearing about her father, since deceased, struggling to make it every day to work at a city water plant while fighting multiple sclerosis?