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Faced with Heckler, Michelle Threatens Walkout

First Lady Michelle Obama threatened to walk out of a fundraiser Tuesday evening when she was interrupted by a pro-gay rights heckler.

The scene occurred at the Washington home of lesbian couple Karen Dixon and Nan Schaffer, who were hosting Mrs. Obama at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser.

From the pool reports:

Most notable part of the event was an interruption from a protester about 12 minutes into the 20-minute speech. A pro-LGBT rights individual standing at the front began shouting for an executive order on gay rights. (Pool did not hear exactly what.)

“One of the things I don’t do well is this,” replied FLOTUS to loud applause. She left the lectern and moved over to the protester, saying they could “listen to me or you can take the mic, but I’m leaving. You all decide. You have one choice.”

Crowd started shouting that they wanted FLOTUS to stay.

“You need to go!” said one woman near the protester.

The protester was then escorted out, shouting “…lesbian looking for federal equality before I die.” (First part of the quote was inaudible.) Pool could not get their name before they were taken out . . .

Heather Cronk, co-director of the pro-LGBT rights group GetEQUAL, contacted the pool and identified the protester as one of their activists, Ellen Sturtz.

Sturtz was calling for an executive order to bar discrimination by federal contractors based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Cronk said there were three other GetEQUAL activists at the event as well — two of them are college students. They are from OH, NC, and NM.

DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz also in attendance.

Had Michelle left it may have been problematic, given that heckling of public figures delivering political speeches is common and attendees had donated from $500 – $10,000 to hear and spend some time with her.

Michelle Ramps Up Fundraising Blitz

A White House increasingly desperate to turn the House Democratic so it can dictate its second term agenda has dispatched First Lady Michelle Obama to three fundraisers for the Democratic National Committee in Washington Tuesday.

The events will all be at private residences, suggesting she will gather with smallish groups of rich Democrats who will donate a hefty amount for the privilege of attending.

Two of the events are walled off to press. A single member of a print news organization will be permitted to cover the third.

Michelle has begun fundraising at a torrid pace, with today’s appearances coming on the heels of three gatherings she hosted in a single day last week – one in Boston for the Senate campaign of Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and two in New York for the DNC.

Meanwhile, President Obama appeared at two fundraisers for House Democrats last week and will be raising money later this week in the traditional Democratic gold mine of California.

Michelle to Donors: “Max Out!”

First Lady Michelle Obama asked donors Wednesday to “max out” on their contributions, a demand that could amount to nearly $46,000 per person.

Mrs. Obama made the offhand request for tens of thousands of dollars during a fundraiser at the opulent 583 Park in New York City. Numerous celebrities were in attendance, including Chris Rock, Sigourney Weaver, Cynthia Nixon, Blair Underwood, Cherry Jones,  Sam Waterston, Geena Davis, and James Earl Jones.

The event included “literature readings” by the celebrities – which Mrs. Obama apparently missed.

Toward the end of remarks that exceeded half an hour, Michelle made the call for attendees to up their ante to the campaign.

From the transcript of the remarks:

We need you to keep on writing those checks.  (Laughter.)  If you haven’t maxed out, max out!  (Laughter.)  If you’ve got friends who haven’t maxed out, get them to max out.  (Applause.)  Get them.  Find them.  We still have time.

According to FEC rules, “maxing out” would bring a donor’s contributions to $45,800 this year.

The sum includes $30,800 per year to a national Party, $10,000 per year to a state or local Party committee, and $5,000 to a federal candidate – including $2,500 during the primaries and $2,500 during the general election.

Tickets for the event, which included about 350 people, started at only $500. Despite being hit up for another forty five grand, attendees gave the first lady a standing ovation.

Michelle Plans a Little Fundraising Spree

First Lady Michelle Obama will be hitting the road next week to raise some money and inspire Obama campaign volunteers. No doubt an event or two with some hefty kids jumping around will be thrown in for good measure.

Michelle will be in New York City Wednesday, June 6, for a fundraiser and then zip down to Philadelphia to “meet with Obama campaign volunteers,” according to her newly released schedule.

The following day she will head out to the Washington, DC suburb of Manassas, Virginia to gin up some more volunteers, and then late in the afternoon will attend a fundraiser in Washington at a private residence.

Michelle’s Military Outreach Reaps Big Political Benefit

A year ago, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden launched their “Joining Forces” initiative, an effort to give thanks to military service members and their families.

It’s a nice gesture, and I’m sure there is sincerity in it. But the political element of what is portrayed as a selfless effort to show appreciation is becoming clearer, and the benefits are numerous.

Michelle has been ramping up her campaigning for her husband’s reelection, traversing the country with increasing regularity to thank campaign workers and hold fundraisers.

The fundraising trips, which in the end will cost taxpayers millions of dollars, are almost always given an official cast by White House aides who throw in a “first lady” event related either to military families or Michelle’s “Let’s Move” kids health initiative. Sometimes, the events amount to no more than a meet-and-greet at the airport where Mrs. Obama lands.

Tuesday, for example, Michelle will arrive at the Albuquerque International Airport at 2 pm Mountain Time and be greeted by service members and their families from New Mexico’s Kirtland Air Force Base. The event is so brief that she will have time to make it to a fundraiser scheduled to start a half hour later.

What’s more, Michelle’s devotion to military families fits in with an Obama 2012 campaign determination to mine the military for votes.

The Washington Post reported Friday that the Obama campaign feels it has a genuine shot at making inroads among a population usually considered pro-Republican.

Obama’s effort to win a bigger share of the veterans’ vote than he did in 2008 could make a difference in swing states with large military populations, such as Virginia and North Carolina . . .

The reelection team in Chicago made clear Thursday that it plans to tout Obama’s policy accomplishments and his efforts to improve and promote services for veterans and their families.

“The president and the campaign believe that this is one of the most important issues out there as we bring more than 2 million men and women home from serving in Iraq and Afghanistan and deal with the issues they face as returning veterans,” said Rob Diamond, who served in Iraq and is the Obama campaign’s vote director for veterans and military families. “We are out there talking about that, engaging veterans, educating them, making sure they understand how much has been done.”

Michelle’s devotion to the military has also helped refurbish the image of a woman who said during the 2008 campaign that with voters rallying to her husband, it was the first time she had really been proud of her country.

Michelle: A Few Thousand Votes Could Decide It

First Lady Michelle Obama revealed the extent of the nervousness in President Obama’s camp over the upcoming contest with Mitt Romney, telling a group of Obama supporters in Naples, Florida that the election could be decided by a few thousand votes.

“This all could come down to those last few thousand people we register to vote,” she said, according to Naplesnews.com. “It might mean just one more person … That one person could be the one.”

The first lady was campaigning and raising money in Naples following a trip with her husband to speak to the troops at Fort Stewart in Hinesville, Georgia.

Florida is viewed as perhaps the first or second most important battleground state. Its electoral votes could determine the election, as they did in 2000 when only a few hundred votes separated George W. Bush and Al Gore.

Florida is particularly important to President Obama, as polling suggests traditionally Republican states he picked up in 2008 against John McCain, like Virginia, Indiana and North Carolina, may revert to form and support the GOP nominee.

Michelle Obama’s Schedule || Week of April 22, 2012

Here’s Michelle’s schedule for next week. Notice the official events which ensure that taxpayers will pick up many of the trips’ costs, even though each excursion has campaign stops. The Florida official event looks like a meet and greet at the airport.

Mrs. Obama thanks you for your contribution.

Based on an announcement from the White House:

 
Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Omaha, Nebraska 12:00 PM CT – Delivers the keynote address at Girls Inc. of Omaha’s 12th annual lunch in support of the work that the organization does to inspire girls and young women to be “Strong, Smart and Bold.”  . . . She will deliver remarks commending Girls Inc. for their work to support young women and girls. Inspired by the Let’s Move! initiative, Girls Inc.’s teenagers will present Mrs. Obama with a special video that highlights the many ways they stay active.

 Omaha, Nebraska 1:45 PM CT – Delivers remarks at a fundraiser

Des Moines, Iowa 5:00 PM CT – Meets with Obama campaign volunteers from the Des Moines area.

 
Thursday, April 26, 2012

The White House  11:00 AM ET – Meets with children of Executive Office employees at the White House’s annual Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day and takes questions from the audience.

 
Friday, April 27, 2012

Naples, Florida  3:15 PM ET – Arrives at Naples Municipal Airport where she will be greeted by students from Avalon Elementary School.  Students at Avalon recently won first place in a University of Florida School Garden Competition, and their Global Garden introduces students to new foods and new ways to prepare the food that is grown.  In maintaining their garden, the students work with the Naples Botanical Garden, a member of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! Museums and Gardens initiative. Mrs. Obama will also be greeted by students from Mike Davis Elementary School, which recently started a running club called “Kids on the Go” for its third to fifth grade students.  Both schools participate in the Florida Farm to School program to provide their students with seasonal, fresh produce from local farmers.

Naples, Florida  4:00 PM ET – Meets with campaign volunteers.

Naples, Florida  5:15 PM ET – Delivers remarks at a fundraiser.

Michelle to Hold Four Fundraisers in Two Days

First Lady Michelle Obama will host four fundraisers today and tomorrow along with an event with service members that could ensure taxpayers pick up a significant amount of her travel costs.

Michelle’s first fundraiser is today in Washington. Tuesday she travels to Nashville for a single money event and then on to Pittsburgh for two more. But included in her excursion to collect cash is an small event in Pittsburgh that is part of her “Joining Forces” initiative to aid veterans and military families.

By throwing in what appears to be an “official” first lady event, the White House may be ensuring that many of the costs of the trip will be paid for by taxpayers instead of the Obama campaign. This event appears particularly skimpy, amounting to little more than a “greeting” by local service members and their families.

Michelle’s “Joining Forces”  campaign not only assists military families, but it has helped remake the image of a first lady who  famously remarked as her husband’s campaign picked up steam in early 2008 that “for the first time in my adult life I am proud of my country.”

What’s also clear is that by having official roles such as Joining Forces and her “Let’s Move” kids’ health campaign, the White House will be able to include official events on her schedule that end up defraying the cost to the campaign, as it does when President Obama travels to raise money.

The tactic was also used extensively by George W. Bush during his 2004 reelection campaign.

The first lady’s office did not respond to a request for clarification of the nature of the event with service members.

I’m Not Going to be Ignored!!

Michelle is in the news. A lot. From the Washington Times: A media research firm says Michelle Obama has gotten nearly 30,000 mentions in the press since her husband was elected president, more than tripling the attention paid her predecessor, Laura Bush, during the equivalent time. The current first lady steamrolled, garnering 29,634 mentions, compared… Continue Reading