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Campaign memories in Iowa

President Obama and the First Lady in Dubuque, Iowa

President Obama kicked off day three of his Iowa bus tour in Dubuque this afternoon, accompanied by First Lady Michelle Obama. If the chants of “I-O-W-A, Obama-Biden all the way!” and “Fired up, ready to go!” were any indication, supporters at the Alliant Energy Amphitheater were just as excited to see the First Lady as she was to be back.

MRS. OBAMA: Our family has so many wonderful memories of our time here in Iowa. In Pella, I remember that an entire neighborhood sang "Happy Birthday" to Malia on the Fourth of July. That was so sweet. She was a little, bitty something, too.

And on the day of the big Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, I remember how we danced down the street with the Isiserettes—and a few thousand folks across the state, as well, were there, too. So that was fun.

And our girls, Malia and Sasha, they still talk about our visit to the State Fair. We had a ball. We rode the bumper cars; we slid down that big slide—where Barack almost lost Sasha. She flew up…


MRS. OBAMA: … it wasn’t pretty. Wasn’t happy about that. And, yes, we experienced the magic of our first fried Twinkie …

But we were surrounded by the press, so Barack left and the girls looked at me and they said, "Oh, I'm so glad Dad is gone." Now we can have fun. So after he left, we stayed. We cut loose. We stayed until the fair shut down. It was a ball. And I have to say that we're all very jealous that Barack got to go back to the fair without us last week. …

But in all seriousness, though, because of those wonderful memories and so many more, I want to start by saying thank you. Truly. Thank you for the kindness, generosity and love that you have shown our family—I mean, throughout the state, consistently. Iowa was our very first experience with a national campaign, truly. And it is because of all of you that Malia and Sasha still think campaigning is fun. They do. Now, they never really want to go, but they're like, that was fun.

But more importantly, because of you, Barack and I will always remember what this process can be at its very best. Every election, you all remind us what democracy is all about. It's about people getting to know the issues and discussing them with their neighbors. It's about meeting your candidates and getting to know them and their families up close and personal.

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