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Michelle Obama to the rescue

As Democrats fear doom come the Nov. 2 election, they call in the first lady to drum up fundraising support.

October 10, 2010|By Andrew Malcolm, Los Angeles Times

Democrats apparently believe they are in some kind of trouble with President Obama's first midterm election looming Nov. 2.

They've called in the big gun, First Lady Michelle Obama, who's more popular now than her husband.

In a rather blunt political fundraising e-mail coming from a first lady, Obama proclaims, "I need your help."

She reminisces about the heady days of 2008 when millions who believed in her husband donated millions to his campaign, $750 million to be exact. It's more of a motivational campaign challenge this time, because the Real Good Talker's name is not on the ballot, just those congressional legislators who followed his fervent urgings to pass healthcare and other expensive new programs while the economy remained mired.

"It was inspiring to witness," Michelle Obama says. "Now, Barack and I need you to help show that energy again. Because this is such a critical moment, a group of grass-roots donors are ready to match any contribution you can give."

Her e-mail was distributed to millions of past donors by Organizing for America, her husband's ongoing campaign operation under the Democratic National Committee.

Obama wants everyone to give at least $3 — more would be better. And then from across the country, teachers, truckers, nurses and firefighters from unidentified organizations will match the new donations. Also, she'd like you to jot down a short note about why you are donating.

The message is simple and imminent:

"Barack can't keep making progress without strong allies in Congress. And now the same people who've opposed us at every turn are targeting the folks who voted to make change real. They think we can't do it again."

She will also be hitting the cross-country political trail late this month, specifically to campaign in California for embattled incumbent Sen. Barbara Boxer, although millions will have already voted by Oct. 27.

Biden hits the campaign trail

Having successfully spurred the nation's stubbornly stifled economy, created millions of new jobs and extracted U.S. combat troops from Iraq, Vice President Joe Biden is taking some time off from minor Washington duties these days to stump for his party's struggling candidates around the country.

Monday it was for Ted Strickland, who wants to remain governor of Ohio. The next day it was for Minnesota's gubernatorial candidate.

Mark Dayton, the department store heir who tried out the U.S. Senate for a term, is now spending some of his millions to go for the Minnesota governor's office. Biden went before the administration's new favorite campaign audience, college students looking to get out of class. He told the young people in St. Paul that: "Reports of the death of the Democratic Party have been greatly exaggerated."

Which is funny on two levels. One, no one has come forward to claim credit for declaring said party defunct, even after 20 months of failed recovery efforts. And, two, in Minnesota, Biden's party is known as the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party.

Biden also emphatically told the crowd and Americans listening beyond:

"I'm here to tell you that on November the 3rd, the Democrats will retain a majority in the House, a majority in the Senate."

Biden's bold yet predictable prediction ignited resounding cheers from Republicans. That's because if Democratic voters follow Biden's advice at the polls Nov. 3, Republicans are sure to win. The Democrats will be an entire day late because the midterm voting is actually Nov. 2.

andrew.malcolm@latimes.com

Top of the Ticket, The Times' blog on national politics (www.latimes.com/tickethttp://www.latimes.com/ticket), is a blend of commentary, analysis and news. These are selections from the last week.

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