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First lady 'heartbroken' by toll from Hurricane Sandy


JACKSONVILLE, FL -- First lady Michelle Obama told a crowd of supporters today that she is "heartbroken" by the toll of Hurricane Sandy.

"We are heartbroken about the lives that have been lost and all the damage that has been done in so many of our communities," Obama said, adding that her husband, President Barack Obama, is working "around the clock" with governors and mayors and first responders. 

"I know that one of things that we do in times of crisis is come together," Obama said.

It was a message of unity that may have been tinged with politics, too, evoking images of Obama and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie touring the devastated New Jersey coastline yesterday.

Christie, Republican, has been one of the president's fiercest critics but this week has praised his leadership.

The first lady's event here in Jacksonville drew 4,700 people, the campaign said.

The crowd was treated to a brief show from Stevie Wonder beforehand, who told the audience that the president is "for all people."

"You know what amazes me is when I hear all these various people talking crazy," Wonder said of the president's opponents. "I say, 'They must be blinder than me.'"

The first lady delivered her usual early vote message, declaring that voting early and volunteering is part of the campaign's "five-day plan" in the run up to Nov. 6.

Earlier, a campaign field organizer announced that vans were waiting to bring members of the crowd to a polling station inside a city library.