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The first lady cometh to Nevada


NORTH LAS VEGAS, NV -- The Secret Service requires people attending events with a president or first lady to be in place hours before the main attraction arrives. So organizers are forced to cope with the question of keeping people engaged for that time.

Senate Majority Harry Reid's campaign came up a solution today for the large crowd that jammed a high school gymnasium here to wait nearly two hours for First Lady Michelle Obama -- they turned it into a campaign phone bank.

Speakers, including Congresswoman Dina Titus (D), who faces an uphill battle for re-election, and Congresswoman Shelley Berkley (D), who doesn't, asked people to pull out their cell phones and call friends, neighbors, and co-workers to remind them to vote. To show them how it's done, Titus and Berkley made calls themselves, even holding their phones up so the recipients of the calls could hear the crowd, and holding the earpiece to the microphone so the crowd could hear them.

When Michelle Obama -- whom Reid introduced as "the closer" -- spoke, she received the most enthusiastic and energetic responses of the three speeches I've seen her give this fall. And Mrs. Obama seemed energized by the crown. Using a prompter to deliver essentially the same speech she's given since for more than two weeks now, she spoke with more feeling and emotion than those earlier stops.

A big reason why Nevada -- where one-quarter of the population is Hispanic -- is on her Election Eve itinerary can be found in the results of the new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll: While only 45% of registered voters say they have a favorable opinion of President Obama, his approval rating among Hispanics is 55%.