Dear ELLE Readers,
When I fell in love with Barack more than 20 years ago, I knew he’d be a loving husband and a devoted father. I knew he shared my determination to make a difference in other people’s lives. But I never dreamed that he’d one day be president, and I know that he didn’t either.
But four years ago—against all odds—I joined millions of Americans from all backgrounds and walks of life to vote for Barack. I didn’t do it just because we were married. I voted for him because I knew he was going to stand up for women like me—and our daughters, sisters, and mothers. When I look at all he’s done since that freezing day he was inaugurated on the Capitol steps—from health-care reform, to saving jobs, to fighting for women’s rights—I’m proud of how far we have come. And I’m determined to help him keep moving forward. (Visit Gottavote.org to find out how to register and where to cast your ballot.)
Here are five reasons to vote for Barack when you go to the polls on November 6:
1. He’s fighting for equal pay for women. Barack was raised by a single mom who struggled to pay the bills, and by a grandmother who worked hard at her job but hit a glass ceiling and watched men she actually trained climb the career ladder ahead of her. As the father of two girls, he wants to make sure that all our daughters grow up with the same opportunities as our sons and are treated fairly in the workplace. That’s why the first bill he signed as president was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act to help women get equal pay for equal work.
2. He’ll fight for our right to make our own health-care decisions. Thanks to the historic health-care reform he signed, insurance companies will have to provide access to preventive services like contraception and cancer screenings without a co-pay. And they’ll no longer be able to make us pay more for health insurance just because we’re women.
3. He’s putting affordable education within reach. When Barack and I were first married, our combined monthly student loan payments were higher than our mortgage. So he understands what it’s like to be saddled with student debt, and he believes that education should not be a luxury reserved for the privileged few. That’s why he doubled funding for Pell grants, fought hard to stop student loan interest rates from rising, and worked to raise the standards in our K–12 schools so our students are prepared for college.
4. He understands why women’s economic success is important. Barack understands that women’s success in this economy is more than just a women’s issue—it’s a crucial economic issue for our nation. More and more women are now breadwinners for their families—so it is all the more important that we have a president who ensures that we have the good jobs we deserve and get the fair pay we’ve earned.
5. He believes everyone deserves a fair shot. Barack has never lost sight of the fundamental American promise that no matter who you are or how you started out, you can make a better life for yourself and your family if you’re willing to work for it. Barack wants to preserve that American dream for the next generation. And whether it’s investing in education or ensuring that regular folks don’t pay a higher tax rate than millionaires and billionaires, Barack is fighting to make sure that everyone in this country has a shot at success.
So before you cast your ballot, I want you to ask yourself, Who’s looking out for me? Who’s thinking about my family? And I want you to know that the man I have loved for more than two decades—the man who has worked so hard for so long to move this country forward—is looking out for you every day.