Michelle Obama in CLT

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When Michelle Obama rolls into town, she arrives in style.


I had such an exciting and unforgettable afternoon.  I snagged a media pass to Michelle Obama’s rally, which took place at a hanger at the Charlotte airport.  At first, I was confused that her rally would take place in the airport, and that’s when I realized – she was literally going to jump off her plane, run onto the stage to speak, and jump back on.  To the next city!  In fact, I think she hit up three different states today – and that’s nothing compared to the whirlwind that Obama and Mitt are experiencing.  I’m tired just thinking about it all.


Healthy Tipping Point certainly isn’t a political blog, but I’ve always admired Mrs. Obama so much.  I think that we can all agree, no matter what our political affiliation, that Michelle is a pretty awesome woman.  She came middle-class beginnings and worked hard to get into Princeton and Harvard.  She was one of the first black lawyers at her law firm.  She’s a well-spoken and genuine First Lady who supports military families and spreads awareness about childhood obesity through programs like Let’s Move.  And she’s a mom to two girls to boot!  Oh, and let’s not even talk about those buff arms.  How does she do it all?!  I really can’t even imagine. 


So – here’s how the rally went down…


I drove to the airport, parked in the media lot, and checked in.  Check out this fancy pass.  You know I’ll be saving this forever.


Once I was in the hanger, I scoped out the media area.  There were two risers – one for big cameras and another for people with cameras and notebooks – as well as a bunch of chairs and desks with electrical outlets for laptops.  On my way out, I saw a lot of reporters putting the final touches on their stories and e-mailing them off right then and there!


While everyone waited for the First Lady, a few interviews were conducted. I spotted CBS Radio News and my beloved NPR.


The crowd was enthusiastic and excited.  Everyone sang along to the pop songs playing over the speakers, broke into random chants, and gave each other high fives.  I waited anxiously from one of the risers.  It was pretty cool to be so close. 


And then the speeches began.  The mayor and our former governor spoke; we heard from a local restaurant owner (300 East, if anyone is curious).  The national anthem was sung and the pledge was – well – pledged.  And then…


Mariah Carey appeared!


I was so excited that I dropped my iPhone underneath the riser.  Oops.  Thank goodness for a sturdy case.  Mariah didn’t sing, but she did reveal that Barack and Michelle were the first people she told that she was pregnant with twins. 


And then, with the roar of jet engine, Michelle arrived.



Her speech was fabulous.  It was mostly a “Get Out the Vote” stump speech, but it was so inspiring.  I am not naïve – I realize that so much of politics is just making people believe you care or will actually change things when you don’t or can’t.  But I really, really believed every word out of Michelle’s mouth.   Michelle actually moved me to tears when she said, “When you walk through the door of opportunity, hold it open for someone else.  That’s what America is all about.”  She is so genuine and really does seem to be invested in our country’s future.


She is really good at what she does!



After her speech, she spent about 40 minutes saying hello and shaking hands. 


And that was that.


Can you believe tomorrow is Election Day?  I can’t!  2008 seemed like it was just yesterday.  Time sure does fly.



  • Katie November 5, 2012, 7:41 pm

    2008 seems like just yesterday to me too! What a cool experience!

  • Katie Heddleston November 5, 2012, 7:42 pm

    What a wonderful opportunity Caitlin! I would definitely go see ANY President or First Lady in person (given the opportunity) regardless of party affiliation!

  • Elizabeth November 5, 2012, 7:46 pm

    What an opportunity!! I saw the president at my university about 3 weeks ago and it was an amazing experience as well. I look up to Mrs. Obama so much and like you said she is such a great role model for women! This was a great post!! I can’t believe tomorrow is election day either!!

  • Annette@FitnessPerks November 5, 2012, 7:53 pm

    I can’t believe Mariah was there too! That’s kinda cool. 😉

    And how it was in a hangar. Wow. She does seem like a great lady who cares a lot.

  • Juliene November 5, 2012, 7:54 pm

    Reading this made me think about howich money these campaigns waste. I won’t say whst party I associate with because ultimately both parties are guilty of this. The thought of Michelle Obama or Ann romney jetting around spending hundreds of thousands of dollars just to speak for a few minutes kills me. I think that campaign money could be spent in so many better, more beneficial ways. Completely unrelated glad you got to see her. It’s a crazy experience seeing the President or First Lady in person. I’ve been there before they were elected and it was surreal!

    • Caitlin November 5, 2012, 8:01 pm

      My bright idea was that everyone should stop campaigning after Sandy and donate all the money to relief efforts… but you know that would never happen.

      • Juliene November 5, 2012, 8:06 pm

        Yeah wishful thinking I guess. I would love to hear from their campaign managers who thst think responds well to the hate commercials and incessant robot calls. Something like what you saw today probably has a far bigger impact on people but is limited to a select few and very expensive. It would be nice in the future to see what a candidate could do on a shoestring budget.

      • Katie November 5, 2012, 10:31 pm

        I like how the British do it. They have major caps on spending and the amount of months they can start campaigning before elections.

  • Amber K November 5, 2012, 8:10 pm

    I heard John Kerry speak once in person, although I was so far away I couldn’t actually see him. I believe Leonadro DiCaprio spoke too, but again, didn’t see him. What an awesome experience to not only get to hear an amazing woman speak, but to be so close!

  • Christine @ BookishlyB November 5, 2012, 8:10 pm

    Not so sure about the Mariah Carey thing, but the rest is super cool!

  • brooke @ sweats & sweets November 5, 2012, 8:10 pm

    I may not agree with what her husband stands for, but I really love Michelle Obama. I think she is a phenomenal woman who truly stands behind what she believes in and actually goes out and does it. I love her passion to fight the childhood obesity epidemic and encourage our school system to have better lunches, nutritional classes, and recess to come back! I really do admire her and she is always just so kind-hearted.

    • Stephanie C November 6, 2012, 12:33 am

      Wait – there’s no more recess? For which grades??

  • Beth @ 990 Square November 5, 2012, 8:17 pm

    So far in my life I’ve seen two Presidents and one first lady, and each time it’s been an amazing experience. But best of all was when I was a staffer on the Hill and I bumped into then Senator Obama outside of the Senate office building. It was just me and him, and we only talked for about 30 seconds, but I will always remember it!

  • Lee November 5, 2012, 8:20 pm

    Jealous! I love Michelle!

  • Julia November 5, 2012, 8:21 pm

    she is such an amazing role model.

  • Angela @ Happy Fit Mama November 5, 2012, 8:26 pm

    Whatever your party affiliation is, you can not deny that President and Michelle Obama are outstanding speakers. They make you motivated to do anything! I saw each of them speak at least once in the past 4 years. Their passion shines through in their words!

  • Michelle @ Eat Move Balance November 5, 2012, 8:34 pm

    Wow! What a fabulous experience. Amazing! I have a lot of respect for Michelle Obama…what an amazing woman.

  • Katie @ Talk Less, Say More November 5, 2012, 8:34 pm

    AWESOME! I would absolutely love to meet her someday. She always seems so happy and friendly.

  • Abby November 5, 2012, 8:43 pm

    Cool experience! I have always admired Michelle. Barack was in my city today with Bruce Springsteen. I can’t imagine how all candidates and families feel, they have to be exhausted. I’m excited to vote tomorrow, but nervous for results.

  • Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed November 5, 2012, 8:54 pm

    Wow, that’s awesome! Glad you didn’t miss out on this one 😉

  • Carrie @ The Cook's Palette November 5, 2012, 9:00 pm

    Wow…what an amazing opportunity for you! And to be so close! As a dietitian, I really admire Michelle Obama’s work in the community with health and nutrition – particularly with children. She has done some wonderful things.

  • Sarah @ Yogi in Action November 5, 2012, 9:03 pm

    Wow! That’s crazy she actually flew in for her speech and then out for another one. Makes my “busy” day seem pretty tame!

    Also- I love your shoes (I’m assuming they are yours in the picture of where you were sitting)! Very pretty!

  • Jennie (in Wonderland) November 5, 2012, 9:03 pm

    I love Michelle Obama! I love Barack too. It’s like one big passionate love affair.
    Nervous for tomorrow, but hoping it turns out that these two are still in the White House when all’s said and done.

  • Nicole November 5, 2012, 9:16 pm

    That is epic!! I’m so jealous. Too bad Mariah didn’t sing–that would have been incredible.

  • Rachel November 5, 2012, 9:26 pm

    I know you said this isn’t a politics blog, but it is a health blog, and I personally feel the Obamas have done so much for public health. Obamacare gets a bad rap, but it’s made such a difference in many people’s lives! Thanks to the Affordable Health Care Act, my sister can stay on my parents’ insurance plan (she recently graduated college and her job doesn’t not offer health insurance), my boyfriend is no longer barred from health insurance plans because of his pre-existing condition (something I believe is downright criminal and immoral), and my premiums can no longer skyrocket for no reason. Along with working out and a good diet, I have the Obamas to thank for my health.

    • Allison November 5, 2012, 10:50 pm

      Agreed! Nicely put.

  • Cate November 5, 2012, 9:35 pm

    What an awesome experience! I had the opportunity to see her speak in 2008 before the election, which was great. I agree she is a pretty amazing lady, no matter your political leanings. and you definitely have to keep that press pass – so cool

  • luv what you do November 5, 2012, 9:45 pm

    That is one sweet media pass!
    Thanks for the pictures and sharing the evening with us!

  • Rachel November 5, 2012, 10:34 pm

    So one of my students was asking me in 7th period today who I would vote for. Naturally, I declined to answer because I don’t feel right “indoctrinating” kids with my personal political or religious beliefs. But after a minute, he looked at me and said, “I can tell you’re gonna vote for Obama.” I laughed and asked how he could tell. He replied, “Because you dress like Michelle. It’s obvious she’s your hero.” I got so tickled. I am voting for Obama, and I do love Michelle, but I was not aware that I showed all that through my daily attire. Now, I’m off to pick out my outfit for tomorrow *channeling Michelle*

    • Eliza November 6, 2012, 8:22 am

      That’s so cute. 🙂 Kids are funny! And if you dress like Michelle… go you!

  • Morgan November 5, 2012, 10:39 pm

    I saw Obama speak twice while campaigning in 2008 and I saw Michelle Obama speak at a work convention in 2009. I absolutely love both of them but I think I love her more:-) She is a phenomenal woman, and as a military spouse I really appreciate the attention and care she has shown to military families. I am super jealous that you got to see her today!!!

  • Lea @ Greens and Coffee Beans November 5, 2012, 10:49 pm

    Can we give Michelle Obama an award for being the coolest first lady ever? Because she is awesome. My brother got to see her at UNC when she stopped there and I am super jealous about that.
    I can’t believe that it’s already election day too, not to mention the first presidential election I can vote in! I missed the 2008 election by 5 months.

  • M November 5, 2012, 10:50 pm

    Very cool! She was in Orlando today too. I can’t imagine having to keep up with a schedule like that! I really admire her and think she has done a great job as First Lady.

  • Aja November 5, 2012, 11:00 pm

    I am jealous that is so amazing that you got to go see Michelle Obama talk. I can’t even imagine how stressful things are for her and Barack right now with the election. Eep!

  • mollie November 5, 2012, 11:42 pm

    HOLY COW, i am so jealous! as other people said, regardless of political affiliation, we can agree that she is an inspirational woman. i also greatly admired laura bush when her husband was in office.

    • Eliza November 6, 2012, 8:24 am

      I’m a Democrat, but I love love love Laura and the twins, too. Laura’s passion for reading and literacy really hits home with me!

    • Stacie November 6, 2012, 6:58 pm

      Laura Bush is my one of my personal favorites. She is so genuine.

  • Amanda November 5, 2012, 11:48 pm

    What an awesome experience! Thanks for sharing.

  • Stephanie C November 6, 2012, 12:38 am

    Thanks for sharing this! I have no party affiliation and will probably vote third party (my state always goes to the Dem) , but I always find myself leaning his way. I like Obama’s social platform and love love how much of a strong role model Michelle is for all women. Heck, I even ordered an ¡Obama! Sticker 😉 this is something you’ll never forget…what an opportunity!!

  • Nicole November 6, 2012, 12:55 am

    That’s so so awesome! And Mariah Carey?! Oh, my favorite as a teen, to belt it out like her was a dream (just sayin’)!

  • Army Amy* November 6, 2012, 2:42 am

    What a dramatic entrance! I bet everyone was cheering like crazy when the plane rolled up. Very cool!

    I hope that solider in the last picture was there for work and not as a private citizen. I’m pretty sure the UCMJ doesn’t allow soldiers to wear their uniforms to political rallies. And since his name is visible on his PC, he could get in trouble.*

  • Carly November 6, 2012, 4:16 am

    I love Michelle Obama! What an amazing experience. Great photos, too!

  • Carrie @ Fitness and Frozen Grapes November 6, 2012, 6:56 am

    Wow, such a cool experience, Caitlin! I’m sure it’s something you’ll tell Henry about in the years to come.

  • Kristy @Kristy's Health Revolution November 6, 2012, 7:16 am

    Michelle Obama is amazing! Love her. However, you’re wrong when you say, “No matter what political affiliation we are, we can agree that Michelle is a pretty awesome woman” — I can’t believe the hate I hear from people regarding her! It’s like Hilary all over again, but slightly different. It irks me that people are threatened by a strong woman.

  • Becky November 6, 2012, 8:17 am

    She really is amazing, isn’t she! It makes me angry when people attack her for dumb reasons. You are so lucky you were able to attend this event, I would have loved to hear her speak and be in that atmosphere the day before the election! How exciting!

  • Lorelai November 6, 2012, 9:01 am

    Caitlin- what a wonderful experience. You were so close! Wow. I admire Michelle Obama so much. You two are a lot alike actually; smart, strong and effortlessly gracious. Also, I’d totally frame that press pass!

    • Caitlin November 6, 2012, 9:53 am

      What a nice thing to say!!!

    • April November 6, 2012, 10:40 am

      Love your name. My little girl’s name is the same except the ‘e’ and ‘a’ are reversed. 🙂

      • Lorelai November 7, 2012, 11:43 am

        Thank you! I’s a great name! I have always loved my name and I’m sure your daughter will too 🙂

  • Jen November 6, 2012, 9:09 am

    Your press pass is awesome! So proud that you got to go 😉

  • Katy @ HaveYouHurd November 6, 2012, 9:13 am

    LOVE MICHELLE! This post made me tear up! So cool you got to see her speak. She really is an amazing woman.

  • Jillian November 6, 2012, 9:34 am

    What an awesome experience! I am so inspired by her!

  • Maggie November 6, 2012, 9:34 am

    Is it wrong that the I’m a little turned off from Obama knowing that Barack and Michelle talk to Mariah Carey in a casual way?

    Sounds like a great experience, though, and you got some great photos!

    • Erin @ Small things November 6, 2012, 10:47 am

      It made me think less of Mariah Carey! lol. I imagined this as a falsely-intimate moment with someone you don’t ACTUALLY know that well. And Obama was all, “Oh…wow…um, good for you?”

  • Jill November 6, 2012, 9:40 am

    I love Michelle but as for not believing it is election day already, it is obvious that you do not live in a swing state. 🙂 I am ready for it to be over and no matter what happens tomorrow I will continue to live in a country that peacefully tranfers (or maintains power), a country that allows me to be heard, a country that provides opportunity, a country that with all of its flaws is still amazing to me.

  • Natalie @ Free Range Human November 6, 2012, 9:47 am

    What an amazing opportunity! I agree that she is a truly inspiring woman. She just seems like a person you could sit down and have a real conversation with. And, of course, the arms…..

  • Devonia November 6, 2012, 9:55 am

    Thank you for sharing! I really admire Michelle Obama and hope I get to see more of her!

  • Maria November 6, 2012, 10:17 am

    What an awesome experience. I am very excited for you. I love what she said :”When you walk through the door of opportunity, hold it open for someone else. That’s what America is all about.” That is really what is all about. It really made me tear up.

  • deva at deva by definition November 6, 2012, 10:52 am

    That is so incredible that you got to see Mrs. Obama! My sister got to see our President speak on campus at Ohio University and said she was moved to tears hearing him speak. My biggest regret this election season was not getting to hear him the many times he was in my area (the scheduling wasn’t great for me and then I missed out on tickets!).

  • Carina November 6, 2012, 10:59 am

    Hangar, my friend, hangar. With a press pass, you have to at least get that right, or your post makes no sense whatsoever. I know you wrote this quickly and you’re a blogger and books have real editors, but that confusion made me laugh. I kept picturing a hanger!

    But I completely agree with you about how inspiring political speeches are. I heard Sarah Palin speak last election season (I hate to bring politics into it, but I will admit the thought of her near the WH completely terrified me, but I thought the opportunity to hear a live speech would be an interesting experience, so I took it) and her speech was crazy inspiring. Even with a skeptical lawyer’s eye, there were times I just felt like getting caught up in it. Politicians, and political spouses, and political writers and coaches more to the point, really are on their A-game. Glad you had that awesome opportunity!

    • Caitlin November 6, 2012, 11:00 am

      haha now i know!

  • Laura @ My Pink Thumb November 6, 2012, 11:10 am

    Wow what an amazing opportunity!! I’m not even American and I’d be pumped to go hear Michelle Obama speak if the opportunity ever arose for me!

  • Rebecca @ Blueberry Smiles November 6, 2012, 12:32 pm

    Great experience! It’s always incredible to see candidates (or their spouses!) in person….sooo different than on tv. And I compeltely agree, it’s all about their passion, energy, and just making people believe you care

  • Kate @KateMovingForward November 6, 2012, 12:53 pm

    What an amazing quote! I love that so much! Politically, I am not on team Obama, but I have a huge amount of personal respect and goodwill towards their family–they seem like neat, classy, real people. Glad you got to hear her speech!

  • Marissa C November 6, 2012, 4:58 pm

    I’m happy her daughters were left alone this election cycle. What the Palin kids went through in 2008 was horrific.

  • Erin November 6, 2012, 9:28 pm

    She has done nothing important

  • JV November 6, 2012, 11:12 pm

    Question: during The Pledge of Allegience, did she say, “One nation, under God?” I must know!

    • Caitlin November 7, 2012, 6:42 am

      They did the pledge before she arrived but Under God was part of it!

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