SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A week before the midterm elections, Michelle Obama said Monday that the race for the congressional majority is “too close” and voters must recapture the energy that swept her husband and fellow Democrats to power in 2008.

KCBS’ Chris Filippi Reports:

The first lady, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, were the headline speakers at an event in San Francisco aimed at rallying the party’s base.

All three women acknowledged that times are tough for many Americans, despite what they described as major progress over the past two years.

“For a lot of folks, change hasn’t come fast enough,” Obama told the crowd of 700 Democratic Party donors at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s fundraiser. “The truth is, it’s going to take a lot longer to dig us out of this hole than any of us would like.”

However, she said, “we’ve come much too far to turn back now.”

Obama asked the predominantly female audience to recall the excitement and optimism they felt coming in to the 2008 presidential election, and to try to muster that same enthusiasm this year.

“That energy we had two years ago, that’s what we need and nothing short of that,” she said.

Biden echoed that sentiment, urging Democrats to “make 10 more calls, send 10 more e-mails, bring 10 more people to the polls.”

The $500-a-plate fundraiser was expected to raise about $1.6 million for the DCCC’s final campaign efforts.

The committee has been active throughout California this year in support of a half-dozen promising congressional challengers and potentially vulnerable incumbents—an unusually high number for the heavily gerrymandered state.

Though the crowd gave her a warm welcome, Pelosi largely took a back seat at Monday’s event. She reportedly made impromptu remarks to the crowd before the evening event officially began, and her comments during the program were limited to praising the two women with whom she shared the stage.

Her appearance on her home turf was one of several tightly controlled public events she has attended during the fall election season. She has, instead, focused on raising money for Democratic candidates this cycle.

Her relatively low profile reflects the success Republicans have had in making her the face of what they say is the problem—the Democrats’ control of the presidency and Congress, and their agenda of health care and financial overhauls.

Acknowledging the GOP’s momentum leading in to the election, Obama warned fellow Democrats that they will have no one to blame but themselves if they let their majority slip away.

“This is too close, this will be on us,” she said. “This election, it’s about all we have left to do in the months and years ahead.”

Obama will continue her swing through California over the next two days. Her scheduled appearances include two Los Angeles events with Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer, who is facing a tough re-election challenge from Republican Carly Fiorina.

The first lady’s trip comes on the heels of a two-day visit last week by President Barack Obama, as well as a recent string of appearances by former President Bill Clinton.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (13)
  1. KenishaG says:

    Don’t be fooled by her appearance. Seemingly innocent-like, she is a very subtle person. CAVEAT EMPTOR!

  2. Aaron Goldberg says:

    I find her amusing, actually. I watched her on television tonight, and I thought she’s a lousy actress, how much longer is she going to put on this show?!!?? We are not buying it, Please go back to DC.

  3. Pat J says:

    Amusing, yes, smart, yes, intelligent, yes. Vote Republican and let’s see how amused you’ll be

  4. Tommy says:

    Don’t be fooled by their political gamble. This is only a ploy to raise money for the Democratic party. The money you send now isn’t going to help in the mid term elections. There are only 7 days before mid terms.

  5. DW says:


  6. td says:

    This is the first lady agreed.. But she is in no way a representitive of the USA. She acts like she thinks she is a queen. We have seen the real truth from her and her made up and JOKE of a President husband. Apologize to all Amercicans for your embarassment to the great country of the USA..
    We owe no one and apology to any country in the world…

  7. McD56 says:

    She hasn’t got a clue how bad things are….she has our money and spends it like there is no tomorrow……..I would like to see her live like some of us…..wondering how to pay the next bill, etc…..a lot of folks are in bad shape, she just jets all over the globe and stays at the most expensive places on earth…..thanks for nothing, Chelle, go buy more clothes, we will treat

  8. The Godfather says:


  9. N. Gram says:

    Who pays for the Obama’s to travel the US and campaign/fund raise for the Democratic Party? Running Air Force 1 as well as the added security details cannot be cheap. Is the Democratic National Party footing the bill or are we the tax payer?

  10. Center Mass says:

    I’ve asked the same question a number of times and have yet to get an answer. I would be willing to bet its the tax payer who gets the bill !!

  11. McD56 says:

    TAX PAYER——-TAX PAYER——-TAX PAYER……….She is on vacation once again

  12. Dee Kalb says:

    To those of you who are asking who pays for her to fly out…wake up. This is nothing new. It has been going on for years and years with both Democrats and Republicans. Don’t vilify her just because it is her turn.
    Bush took 8 years to run this country into the ground. Give Obama some time to turn the economy around! Are you so naive to think it can be fixed in a matter of a short time? Why vote more republicans in to further run us into the ground?

  13. ap says:

    Dee Kalb, Dems have been in charge for almost 4 years now, try blaming someone else sheep dip.

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