Michelle Obama stumps for Murray in Seattle, tells crowd “I want you to save all that energy for getting votes out.”
“Wow, we’re pretty fired up in here right? This is great. This is amazing. We’re going to get this done right? Well thank you all so much. Please rest yourselves. I want you to save all that energy for getting votes out.”
“I have to tell you the truth this isn’t something that I’ve been doing very often, this campaigning thing. In fact I haven’t really done it since a little campaign that you might remember a couple of years ago. Yeah. And that’s because as a self-described mom-in-chief my first priority has been making sure that my girls are happy and healthy and adjusting to this very interesting life in the White House. That has been my focus but I think I’m like every parent that I know. My children are at the center of my world. My hopes for their future are at the heart of every single thing that I do and that’s why I knew I had to be here today. That’s why I left them at home to be here today. Because more than anything else I come to this stuff as a mom. No matter what I do I focus on these issues as a mother. And when I think about the issues facing our nation, I think about what it means for my girls and I think about what it means for the world that we’re leaving for them and for all of our children quite frankly.”
“We need you to get everyone you know to vote. It is not too late, you’ve got to be fired up. We got to get folks voting early for Patty. Get those ballots in. If you think someone is sitting out, you got to shake ’em. Tell ’em, they can’t sit this one out. We have come too far for them to sit this one out. We need all of you to find those folks and we need you to tell them that they can’t vote just once and then wait for change to happen. They have to vote every time. They have to vote for their mayor, for their governor, for their congressmembers, for senators like Patty. Because in the end Washington, our campaign was never just about putting one man in Washington. It was never about that. It was about building a movement for change millions of voices strong. A movement that lasts beyond one year, that lasts beyond one campaign. So if you keep standing with Patty and bringing folks together for Patty, if you are as fired up and ready to go as you were 2 years ago, then I know that we can keep that movement going. I know that we can keep that American Dream alive and more importantly, years from today our children and grandchildren will be able to look back and say that we kept faith with the values we were raised with. That we gave them that better life they deserved and that we met our obligations to leave for them an America worthy of their dreams. We need you Washington. Let’s get it done. Thank you all so much. Yes we can. Yes we can. Yes we can.”
Crowd: “Yes we can.”
“Yes we must. Yes we will. Thank you all. God bless.”
First Lady Michelle Obama took the stage at 12:03 p.m. local time She was accompanied by the vice president’s wife, Jill Biden; Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire. The four women led the audience in clapping along with “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.”
The estimated crowd of 1,400 filled lunch tables in a ballroom at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Bellevue. Tickets had been advertised at $75 and $150.
Obama also was scheduled to appear at a second, private fundraiser at the Medina, Wash., home of Jeff Brotman, co-founder of Costco Wholesale Corp. Tickets for that event were advertised at $1,000 and $7,500.
Gregoire said Obama and Biden flew in on a Boeing airplane, checked their e-mail using Microsoft software, drank some Starbucks coffee and would be sure to pick up some candy from Seattle-based Fran’s Chocolates, reportedly a favorite of Obama’s.
The crowd appeared to be heavily female and speeches were tailored to women’s’ issues. The audience delivered a standing ovation when Gregoire reminded them that Washington is the only state to simultaneously have women serving as both U.S. senators and governor.
Gregoire criticized Rossi’s positions, including his stances on abortion and emergency contraception. Rossi is opposed to abortion except in cases of rape or incest, a stance he attributes to his Roman Catholic faith. Gregoire also criticized Rossi for opposing the national Democratic effort to tighten regulations on Wall Street following the Great Recession.
“He does not share our values,” Gregoire said. “We need Patty Murray out there fighting for us, not Dino Rossi out there fighting for Wall Street.”
Murray talked up her record, including national Democratic priorities such as Wall Street reform, that national health care bill, a measure attempting to give women equal pay. She also touted more specific measures, including care for veterans and attempts to win a lucrative air refueling tanker contract for the Boeing Co.
“This state is my family and like any mom, when my family is hurting, I get to work with all the energy I have to make things right again,” Murray said. “And believe me, I will take on the most powerful to make sure my family, my state, has what it needs to get it back on its feet again.”
Biden also spoke briefly, highlighting Democratic efforts to improve education and praising Murray’s advocacy on behalf of military veterans. “Michelle and I are here because we need leaders like Patty in the United States Senate,” Biden said.
Obama was welcomed to the lectern with a standing ovation. She began her speech at 12:28 p.m. and would speak until 12:56 p.m.
Obama said Murray approaches public service with a mother’s perspective, recalling Murray’s original campaign as the self-described “mom in tennis shoes.”
“She came to this work as a mom _ as a mom in tennis shoes _ because she wanted to help people. She came to this work because she wanted to solve problems,” Obama said. “That is what we do as moms, and that is what Patty has been doing every day for the people of this state.”
Obama ran through a long list of the administration and Congress’ priorities in the first half of the president’s term, including work on credit card regulations, tax cuts, mortgage assistance, financial industry reforms and appointing two women to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Obama implored the crowd to round up Democratic votes in next week’s election, invoking memories of Democratic enthusiasm in the 2008 presidential campaign and saying that work was unfinished.
“This election isn’t just about all that we’ve accomplished these past couple of years. This election is about all that we have left to do in the months and years ahead,” Obama said. “And Washington, let me just say this: My husband can’t do this alone.
“You see, the one thing I asked all of you over the course of the campaign _ I said, ‘If I’m giving you my husband, then you have to have his back.’ He needs leaders like Patty to have his back. And Patty needs folks like all of you to make that happen. So we need you to be fired up.”