Michelle Obama draws a crowd at Macalester College

The rain didnâÄôt keep Democratic presidential candidate Barack ObamaâÄôs supporters away when his wife, Michelle, appeared at Macalester College to talk on his behalf about policy, the election and MinnesotaâÄôs role in the process. About 4,500 people filled the Leonard Center gymnasium Monday afternoon. Waiting to get in, many formed a line that wrapped around campus, standing outside in the dreary rain. But inside, the atmosphere was anything but dreary. Hordes of Obama supporters, at times, cheered loud enough to drown out speakers, who included St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. âÄúIt may be raining out there, but itâÄôs a beautiful day in the state of Minnesota,âÄù Coleman said, âÄúbecause we have the future First Lady here.âÄù Throughout the speeches, including ObamaâÄôs, it wasnâÄôt a question of âÄúifâÄù but instead âÄúwhenâÄù her husband would assume the nationâÄôs top office. âÄúBarack is one of those guys who believes if he works hard enough for anything, that itâÄôll happen,âÄù she said. Her husband, Obama said, has gone 85 percent of the way. As for the rest of the work, she said, âÄúItâÄôs on us.âÄù With three weeks remaining until Election Day, Obama emphasized the importance of grassroots campaigning. âÄúThatâÄôs where all of you come in,âÄù she said to the cheering crowd. âÄúWe have to make every hour, every minute, every second count.âÄù Both Klobuchar and Obama highlighted the candidateâÄôs economic, renewable energy and health care plans, in addition to recognizing young people for landmark support throughout the campaign. âÄúThis election is all about the young people in this country who are motivated in a way theyâÄôve never been before,âÄù Klobuchar said. âÄúThis is the rest of their lifetime.âÄù Obama echoed those sentiments, weaving the importance of young people throughout her speech. MinnesotaâÄôs unregistered young voters number 140,000, she said, enough to play a deciding role on Election Day. âÄúIf a fraction of that number registered to vote, young people would make a determination right here in Minnesota, which is a swing state,âÄù she said. Obama called on friends of those yet unregistered to lead them to polling places on Election Day, where they can still register that same day. âÄúReach out to the undecideds,âÄù she said. âÄúYouâÄôve got to wake them up, out of their dorms, no matter what they did the night before.âÄù Barack Obama, his wife said, understands the financial burdens that come with college and knows how to deal with them on a federal level. âÄúThere is only one candidateâÄù who will help alleviate loan debt and rising tuition costs, she said, also noting his plan to âÄúinvest billions in our education system, from early childhood education, all the way through college.âÄù State Rep. Phyllis Kahn, whose district includes the UniversityâÄôs Minneapolis campus, attended the speech. She said she was pleased with the high turnout of Obama supporters. Democratic senatorial candidate Al Franken also attended, and drew loud, supportive cheers when speakers acknowledged him. It seems the Obama voters will also cast ballots for Franken, Kahn said, which is a big victory for the party. After spending time door-knocking for the Democratic candidates in University residence halls, Kahn said sheâÄôs looking forward to the election. The Superblock had historically been one of the most conservative areas of her constituency, she said, but recently has been âÄúshocked, stunned and surprised when I come across a McCain supporter.âÄù