Michelle Obama in Las Vegas to Drum Up Voter Participation - NBC10 Boston
Decision 2018

Decision 2018

The latest news on local, state and national midterm elections

Michelle Obama in Las Vegas to Drum Up Voter Participation

Obama has limited her political commitments for now to helping When We All Vote, which encourages participation regardless of political affiliation

Find NBC Boston in your area

Channel 10 on most providers

Channel 15, 60 and 8 Over the Air

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Michelle Obama in Las Vegas to Drum Up Voter Participation
    Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images, File
    In this June 22, 2018, file photo, former first lady Michelle Obama speaks at the American Library Association annual conference in New Orleans. Obama is set to appear in Las Vegas on Sunday, Sept. 23, to rally voter registration volunteers and encourage people to vote in the November elections.

    Former first lady Michelle Obama held a campaign-style rally in Las Vegas on Sunday to urge Nevadans to register to vote and cast ballots this fall, warning them that sitting out means someone else will make decisions for them.

    "We get the leaders we vote for. We get the policies we vote for. And when we don't vote, that's when we wind up with government of, by and for other people," Obama told about 2,000 people inside a high school gymnasium.

    The event was the first of two rallies the former first lady is scheduled to headline for the nonpartisan, nonprofit organization she co-chairs, When We All Vote.

    She has long been one of the most popular draws among Democrats. But she has kept a low profile since leaving the White House in January 2017. Obama has limited her political commitments for now to helping When We All Vote, which says it encourages participation regardless of political affiliation.

    Trump Calls off Iran Strikes

    [NATL] Trump Calls off Iran Strikes

    President Donald Trump confirmed on Twitter Friday that he was "cocked & loaded" to strike Iranian targets, but deemed the loss of life would be disproportionate to the downing of a U.S. drone.

    (Published Friday, June 21, 2019)

    It's unclear whether she will stump for Democratic candidates this year, but former President Barack Obama has made appearances in California and Ohio to support Democrats. He has also endorsed more than 80 Democrats up and down the ballot in more than a dozen states.

    Michelle Obama did not make any overtly partisan appeals Sunday, telling people she didn't care who they vote for as long as they participate. She drew loud cheers and applause from the crowd when she mentioned her husband and when someone in the crowd suggested she seek the presidency herself.

    Obama laughed and shook her head, saying, "Stop this."

    Other speakers at Sunday's event did not mention partisan politics. But they spoke about issues that are particularly key to Democratic electoral wins, like harnessing the political power of Latino communities and ensuring voter participation even in off-year, midterm elections, when Democratic turnout tends to lag behind Republican participation.

    Actor and comedian Keegan-Michael Key came closest to delivering a partisan message, telling the crowd that America is at "a very, very interesting time."

    "I'm sure many of you out here have been experiencing, let's call it, 'mild frustration,' " he said.

    Watch: Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Full Opening Statement at House Hearing on Reparations

    [NATL] Watch: Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Full Opening Statement at House Hearing on Reparations

    Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of “The Case for Reparations,” testified before a House Judiciary subcommittee during a hearing on whether the United States should consider compensation for the descendants of slaves. 

    He delivered a rebuttal to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's comments that "no one currently alive was responsible for that," which Coates called a "strange theory of governance." 

    "Well into this century the United States was still paying out pensions to the heirs of civil war soldiers," he said. "We honor treaties that date back some 200 years despite no one being alive who signed those treaties. Many of us would love to be taxed for the things we are solely and individually responsible for. But we are American citizens and this bound to a collective enterprise that extends beyond our individual and personal reach."

    (Published Wednesday, June 19, 2019)

    He then urged the crowd to "translate our outrage and our passion" into change.

    Other speakers included actress Kelly McCreary of ABC's "Grey's Anatomy;" actress Lana Parrilla of ABC's "Once Upon a Time;" journalist Maria Elena Salinas; and local first-time voters.

    Mrs. Obama is scheduled to appear at another When We All Vote rally in Miami on Friday, while other celebrity co-chairs like country singer Faith Hill and actor Tom Hanks are scheduled to headline similar events around the country.

    When We All Vote is holding the events to mark the 53rd anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, which prohibits racial discrimination in voting.