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First Lady spearheads new Obama grassroots outreach effort

WASHINGTON --  In a new effort to give supporters a sense of community and urgency about the upcoming election, Team Obama is deploying the president's most personal surrogate: his wife.

The "It Takes One" campaign, which launched this morning in a web video featuring First Lady Michelle Obama,  urges volunteers to focus on one-on-one engagement in their communities and to enlist new voters in the president's re-election campaign.

"Don't ever underestimate the impact you can have," she says in the video. "As Barack has said all along, it takes one voice to change a room, and one room to change a community, and one community to change the direction of our nation. It takes one and it starts with you. "

The pitch -- which contains no explicit reference to opponent Mitt Romney or to the Republican agenda as a whole -- is similar to the one that Mrs. Obama makes when she speaks to grassroots supporters around the country. But the new effort refocuses attention on the ability of existing supporters to nudge friends and neighbors to get them to the polls in November.

"That one new voter you register in your precinct, that one neighbor you help get to the polls on Nov. 6, that could make all the difference," says Mrs. Obama. "That one conversation you have, that one new volunteer you recruit, that could be the difference between waking up on November 7 and feeling the promise of four more years or asking yourself "could I have done more?"

The launch video narrated by the first lady also highlights the energy surrounding Obama's 2008 campaign. Images of his Iowa caucus surge, his election victory and his inauguration are interspersed with footage of grassroots supporters going door to door.

Mrs. Obama will publicly unveil the "It Takes One" campaign during two campaign stops in swing state Virginia on Friday. Battleground states will begin activities under the "It Takes One" banner next week.