Chances this actually happened even once I’d put somewhere in the .001% to .00001% range.
Michelle Obama just ended a conference phone call meant to inspire young voter participation in the 2012 campaign. Her strategy? Double down on Pell Grants.
In exactly 30 minutes (you have to hand it to them for being well-organized), the first lady mentioned Pell Grants twice (e.g. “We doubled Pell Grants. Three million more Americans have grants”), and she referenced the cost of education at least four times.
The First Lady’s remarks came after a brief statement that came off so quickly that it seemed read from a campaign press release by Shari Totten, a freshman at UNC Charlotte. Ms. Totten noted that she wouldn’t have been able to afford college had it not been for her government loans. Now, not only can she afford college, but she doesn’t have to work a job while taking classes, and this has allowed her to carry two majors, a minor (how does she already know this as a freshman?), AND campaign for the Obama team.
According to the First Lady, the President constantly stays up late thinking about “folks who desperately want to attend college but can’t afford it.” He and the First Lady both respond the same way: “We gotta fix that.”
The Pell Grant and college affordability story seems to have become a favorite tale of the President, the First Lady, and the President’s reelection team. It came up at a recent speech in Michigan, at the State of the Union, in a speech in Virginia, and in the President’s budget. See the posts I’ve done here, here, and here to get more details on the President’s attack on student debt.
Let’s ignore the fact that subsidizing education only keeps the prices of college artificially high. And let’s ignore the fact that this money isn’t coming from nowhere, it’s coming from our increasingly large debt.