First lady Michelle Obama exhorted Democratic supporters Tuesday night not to lose hope in the president’s vision of a restored American dream, saying she and her husband realized change is not coming fast enough for many people.
“It is going to take a lot longer to dig ourselves out of the hole than any of us would like,” she told about 1,000 people at a Los Angeles campaign fundraiser for U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer. “But see, it is not going to be easy because real change never is.”
Mrs. Obama and Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, appeared at the event at the historic Wilshire Ebell Theater with Boxer.
Boxer, the incumbent, is battling to win a fourth term against Republican rival Carly Fiorina.
Calling it “the toughest campaign I have ever faced,” Boxer acknowledged that having both the first and second ladies fly across the country underscored the tight race she is in.
A University of Southern California-Los Angeles Times poll Sunday put Boxer’s lead at just six points ahead of Fiorina, the former chairwoman and chief executive of Hewlett Packard.
“This is a brutal fight,” Boxer said.
Mrs. Obama is also scheduled to appear at a private lunch at a West Los Angeles home on Wednesday on Boxer’s behalf.
The president has also hit the stump for the senator, attending a rally at USC on Friday. Tuesday’s $100 ticket event was expected to raise about $150,000 dollars, most of it for Boxer and a small portion for the Democratic National Committee, according to the Boxer campaign.
Boxer reaped about $500,000 from the rally with the president, her campaign said.
Mrs. Obama, wearing a sleeveless white sheath dress, recited a list of her husband’s accomplishments in office so far, including health care reform, which received a standing ovation.
“My husband can’t do it alone,” she said in her rousing speech. “Our campaign was never about putting one man in the White House. It was about building a movement for change.”
The first lady said her husband knows too many people remain out of work, but urged patience.
“We have come too far to turn back now,” she said.
Mrs. Obama’s message comes as many Democrats fear that impatience with the slow pace of Obama’s promised reforms will affect the chances of Democrats like Boxer in key races.
Mrs. Obama noted her main role is “mom-in-chief” and that she rarely campaigns these days.
Jill Biden said she knew “many are having a tough time.”
“We cannot lose the faith, not now, when we’re making such strides to rebuild the country,” she said. Both Mrs. Obama and Boxer wished Fiorina a full and speedy recovery from her hospitalization Tuesday for an infection stemming from her reconstructive breast surgery last year.
However, Mrs. Obama mispronounced Fiorina’s name as “Fiorini.”
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