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Michelle Obama tries to revive Democrats' spirits

Associated Press Featured Article

October 18, 2010

Michelle Obama tries to revive Democrats' spirits

By Associated Press ,

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — First lady Michelle Obama is trying to fire up downtrodden Democrats fearing big midterm losses by trying to recapture their excitement from two years ago.

In her second day of a midterm campaign swing, the first lady stopped in suburban Denver to stump for a Democratic Colorado senator facing a tough re–election fight. However, Obama spent most of her speech looking backward, reminding donors in the crowd about the excitement of 2008 and urging them to recapture the energy they felt then.

"We are here to restore that promise," Obama told about 300 Democratic donors.

She urged Democrats not to give up despite polls indicating widespread Democratic defeats next month. Obama talked about party enthusiasm around the 2008 Democratic National convention in Denver, which continued through that election and to President Barack Obama's nomination.

"We were excited. We were energized. We were fired up," Obama reminded the donors.

She concluded, "We're going to need you to be just as fired up, just as ready to go, as you were two years ago."

Earlier in the day, Obama was in her hometown of Chicago, where she cast an early ballot. The first lady's campaign swing started Wednesday with two fundraising stops for Democratic Senate candidates in Wisconsin and Illinois. She heads next to California before wrapping up her midterm campaign swing with stops in Connecticut and Washington state.

The campaign trip comes as polls show the public has a higher opinion of the first lady than her husband. In Chicago on Wednesday, Michelle Obama's visit raised $400,000 for Democrat Alexi Giannoulias. In Colorado, the first lady's visit set a single–event record for Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet with $270,000 raised, according to Bennet campaign staffers.

Bennet faces a tight contest against Republican Ken Buck. Bennet also tried to raise spirits among the Democrats at the event by telling them victory is still possible, despite polling and media coverage that indicates the GOP could pick up serious ground next month, including the seat Bennet was appointed to last year.

Bennet urged Democrats to ignore gloomy predictions.

"This isn't about what's on TV. It's not about what the talking heads are saying," he said.

The first lady called the midterm elections "a chance to finish what we started."

"We've come much too far to turn back now," Obama said.

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