By Peter Marcus, DENVER DAILY NEWS
First Lady Michelle Obama at a fundraiser in Englewood yesterday for Democrat U.S. Senate candidate Michael Bennet said she is a supporter of Bennet because as a mother she believes Bennet is working for a positive future for her children.
The fundraiser, held at an upscale private residence in Cherry Hills, raised about $270,000 for the Bennet campaign, according to a campaign spokesman.
About 300 people attended the $250-and-up luncheon — an event attended by such local Democrat heavyweights as Gov. Bill Ritter — who appointed Bennet to the Senate in January 2009 — and Secretary of State Bernie Buescher.
Obama spoke for about 35 minutes, discussing how she views herself as the “mom-in-chief,” arguing that the focus for lawmakers should be on creating a better future for the nation’s children. She said Bennet is working for that future.
“My children are at the center of my world,” said Obama. “My hopes for their future is really at the heart of every single thing that I do, and that’s really why I wanted to be here for this. I wanted to be here for Michael because I come at this really more as a mother than anything else.”
Michelle Obama, whose approval rating trumps that of her president husband, has been called upon by Democrats to hit the campaign trail for them. The First Lady is making campaign stops in seven states, including Colorado yesterday.
While she spent some of her speech discussing Bennet’s accomplishments, Obama spent a significant amount of time highlighting the work her husband has done as president. She pointed to health reform and the signing of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act as shining examples.
In introducing Obama, Bennet spoke of his commitment to his children and the future for the nation’s children.
“What we share, what we hold in common is aspirations that we have for our kids and our grandkids for this state and for our country that are so much more important and so much more durable and so much more relevant whether we are Republicans or Democrats or unaffiliated voters than the politics that you’re seeing play out on your TV,” said Bennet. “And it’s up to us to lift up those aspirations …”
The First Lady also pushed Democrats at the fundraiser to think back to the excitement and energy they shared during Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, and encouraged them to “have his back.”
“One thing I said out on the campaign trail, I said to you that if I put Barack out there with my family, you all would have to have his back … and you told me you would,” Obama told the audience. “And in order to have his back, we’re gonna need people like Michael … we need all of you to help. We need you all to be pumped up, fired up and ready to go.”