Michelle Obama Hits NYC, Campaigns at Celebrity-Studded Event

By BETH FOUHY
|  Thursday, Oct 21, 2010  |  Updated 3:56 PM EDT
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Michelle Obama Hits NYC, Campaigns at Celebrity-Studded Event

AP

U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama, left, applauds with actress Sarah Jessica Parker, center, and Jill Biden after speaking at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser Monday Oct. 18, 2010 in New York. (AP Photo/Stephen Chernin)

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First lady Michelle Obama raced around Manhattan Monday, making political stops and fundraising visits, asking women to get behind Democrats in next month's midterm elections.

She told supporters at Democratic National Committee fundraiser Monday that she views the world as a mother. She says President Barack Obama's efforts to reform health care and improve public education are helping children have a brighter future.

Mrs. Obama noted that her husband had named two women to the U.S. Supreme Court and that the first piece of legislation he signed as president was to help women achieve equal pay.

The first lady appeared onstage with Vice President Joe Biden's wife, Jill, and actress Sarah Jessica Parker, who hosted the event.

Campaigning in Connecticut before heading to a celebrity-studded fundraiser in Midtown, first lady Michelle Obama urged voters to send state attorney general Richard Blumenthal to the Senate, where her husband needs leaders to help fight for reform, she said.

With Blumenthal sitting on a stool to her right and a sea of camera phones in front of her, Obama told 800 supporters at a fundraiser at the Palace Theater in Stamford, Conn., that Blumenthal would continue to fight for Connecticut in Washington as he has for 20 years in Hartford as its attorney general.

"Our campaign was never just about putting one man in the White House," Obama said of her husband's 2008 run for president. "It was always about building a movement for change millions of voices strong and a movement that lasts beyond one year and beyond one campaign."

Later Monday, the first lady was to join Vice President Joe Biden's wife, Jill, at fundraisers in Manhattan that were expected to pull in $1 million for the Democratic National Committee. One event was a concert hosted by actress Sarah Jessica Parker with entertainment by singer Patti LaBelle.

Obama is the latest national political figure to campaign for Blumenthal, who is in a tight race with Republican Linda McMahon to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd. President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton visited Connecticut last month to help raise money and rally supporters.

The first lady said the president remains committed to reform in health care, education, veterans' aid, clean energy initiatives and other issues. She told the audience not to lose faith in her husband's vision for the country, despite change not coming as quickly as some had hoped.

"Many of us came in this expecting to see all the change we talked about to happen all at once," she said. "But the truth is, it's going to take a lot longer to dig ourselves out of this hole than any of us imagined."

After the fundraiser, a McMahon campaign spokesman released a statement saying Blumenthal would not promote policies that will help the state's unemployment rate or turn the economy around.

"Linda is the only candidate in this race who has created jobs and understands how we can put Connecticut back to work," said Shawn McCoy.
 

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