Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 13, 2016

First Lady Urges Donors to ‘Max Out’ to Senate Democrats

First lady Michelle Obama urged donors in New York on Monday to contribute to Democrats’ efforts to hold the Senate majority in 2014, saying “the midterm elections matter” in helping the president’s agenda move forward.

“There’s something that we and all of you can do right now, today, to make a huge difference, and it’s simple: You can write a big old fat check,” Obama said, according to a transcript of her remarks.

Obama headlined the women-focused Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee event at a midtown Manhattan hotel, where female senators and candidates running in 2014 were among those in attendance. More than 300 donors who gave at least $250 each gathered around 25 tables in a Sheraton ballroom, according to a White House pool report.

In her remarks, the first lady highlighted bills like Obamacare that barely survived a Senate vote, as well as those that came up short, including the expansion of background checks on gun purchases.

“So we need you all to max out,” Obama said. “And just as important, once you’ve maxed out, we need you to get everyone you know to give whatever they can, as well.”

In his introductory remarks, DSCC Chairman Michael Bennet of Colorado said that looking back at some of the party’s gains over the last few cycles, it was “very clear that the way we won them was by running women.” Three female candidates were on hand from states President Barack Obama lost in 2012: West Virginia, Kentucky and Georgia, the latter two being the party’s only offensive opportunities next year.

Secretaries of state Alison Lundergan Grimes of Kentucky and Natalie Tennant of West Virginia have both been outspoken about their opposition to some of the administration’s policies, especially regarding the importance of coal to their states. Grimes is challenging Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Tennant is running to hold the seat of retiring Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller.

Michelle Nunn, the longtime head of the Points of Light Foundation, is hoping to turn around the party’s fortunes in Georgia, where Democrats believe a combination of a favorable influx of voters to the Atlanta suburbs and a Republican nominee weakened by a brutal primary would give Nunn a good shot. Nunn is running for the seat of retiring GOP Sen. Saxby Chambliss.

Democratic senators on hand included Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and Mazie K. Hirono of Hawaii, according to the pool report. Only Shaheen is up for re-election in 2014.

Republicans must net six seats to win back the majority in the Senate.

  • john norton

    Its not $ or the lack of it thts gonna win this,but guess the liberals and rinos never got the memo,stat/

  • The_Chilling_Curmudgeon

    A ‘One Trick Pony” move if I ever saw one played and over-played. Dems figure they can buy media off to forget epic fails by Dem-led WH & Senate.

  • Largebill

    Maybe, but $$$ help and the more desperately they plea for $$$ the more likely they are seeing internal polling showing they are in trouble.

  • thewlyno

    Obama “barely survived a Senate vote”? Did I miss something?

  • Alarms & Discursions

    Does the first lady shilling for Senate Democrats mean we can treat her like a partisan and don’t have to pretend that as first lady she is just some elegant non-partisan symbol, like the queen?

  • Rebecca Adams

    Soooo, chairman Mike is “running women?” Wow, I’d rather be in a binder.

  • LouAnnWatson

    it’s a-l-i-i-i-v-e! send out the smiling sasquatch to browbeat the donors. the “uh-oh” moment has officially arrived.

  • LouAnnWatson

    the downward spiral

  • LouAnnWatson

    she’s no queen of anything, although she thinks she is.

  • rbeccah

    The Democrat Party = the Gimme Party.

  • teapartydoc

    Hey, libs. Give Obama ALL of your money. Every penny. He knows how to spend it better than you do. After all, isn’t that what you believe about government and the rest of us?

  • sciencebob

    Let me translate.
    The American people are starting to wake up. The bloodbath at the polls in 2010 will look like a melting ice cube on the kitchen floor compared to the tsunami we expect in 2014. The House is gone, Pelosi will never again cover up our mistakes, she might as well cash in her retirement. We expect impeachment proceedings to start next year in earnest as the IRS, ACA, and the other half dozen scandal grow. Our only hope is to hold the Senate at 50, 48, and 2 to avoid getting kicked out of office. Barack is so screwed. Time for vaca.

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