Nightly News   |  October 19, 2011

Power couple: Michelle Obama joins president on tour

First lady Michelle Obama joined her husband on the last day of his bus tour through North Carolina and Virginia. NBC’s Andrea Mitchell reports.

Share This:

This content comes from a Full-Text Transcript of the program.

BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: President Obama continued his jobs-promoting bus tour today, and he was joined today by the first lady, which we have noticed is happening a lot lately. Our report tonight from NBC 's Andrea Mitchell .

Ms. MICHELLE OBAMA: This is a nice day. It's good to see you. You're looking good.

ANDREA MITCHELL reporting: On a military base in Virginia , Barack Obama 's not so secret political weapon.

President BARACK OBAMA: How lucky am I to be married to Michelle Obama ?

MITCHELL: On the White House jobs tour today, Michelle Obama is on message, announcing 25,000 private sector jobs for veterans and military spouses over the next two years. As the campaign gains speed, the first lady is gearing up.

Ms. OBAMA: And I hope that all of you are fired up.

MITCHELL: She's raising millions. And if he sometimes seems aloof, she is anything but.

Ms. OBAMA: I would like to thank all of you for planning such a lovely, intimate evening for the two of us . Who knows what'll happen?

Ms. TINA BROWN (Newsweek/The Daily Beast Editor-in-Chief): Michelle Obama really brings a warmth, a personal connection, a kind of strong, womanly human connection that, you know, Obama , her husband, just cannot really seem to get at.

MITCHELL: It's a transformation for a political spouse who was at first a reluctant campaigner and spent much of her first White House year focusing on her children.

Ms. OBAMA: When Barack first started talking about running for president, I wasn't exactly enthusiastic about the idea.

MITCHELL: That was then. Now she's everywhere, painting houses for military families, fighting childhood obesity, today picking pumpkins, and above all, avoiding controversy, focusing on issues with broad appeal. So as the economy takes its toll on her husband's polls, hers remain sky high.

Ms. ANITA McBRIDE (Former Laura Bush Chief of Staff): She's willing to get out there. Much more comfortable than she was in 2008 .

Ms. OBAMA: Do you have his back? Are you fired up? Are you ready to go?

MITCHELL: And Michelle Obama is just getting started. Andrea Mitchell , NBC News, Washington.