‘Mom in Chief’ boosts Bennet

In what she said was only her second day on the campaign trail since her husband won the White House in 2008, First Lady Michelle Obama swung through Colorado to boost the campaign and bolster the coffers of Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet.

First Lady Michelle Obama, right, boosts Sen. Michael Bennet, left, at a fundraiser Thursday. “Happy” Haynes looks on.
Photo by Ernest Luning/The Colorado Statesman
First Lady Michelle Obama
Photo by Ernest Luning/The Colorado Statesman
First Lady Michelle Obama, former Denver City Councilwoman Allegra “Happy” Haynes and Sen. Michael Bennet rally supporters at the Cherry Hills Village home of Marc and Margot Pinto on Thursday.
Photo by Ernest Luning/The Colorado Statesman
Susan Daggett, wife of Sen. Michael Bennet, visits with partygoers at the Michelle Obama fundraiser Thursday in Cherry Hills Village.
Photo by Ernest Luning/The Colorado Statesman
Senate President Brandon Shaffer, left, a Longmont Democrat, chats with his wife, Jessica, at the Michelle Obama fundraiser.
Photo by Ernest Luning/The Colorado Statesman

In part of a last-minute dash across the country to help Democrats in close races, Obama spoke to a crowd of about 300 at a Cherry Hills Village fundraiser on Thursday. The event brought in an estimated $270,000, Bennet’s campaign aides said. The luncheon fundraiser was at the Cherry Hills Village home of Marc and Margot Pinto.

“We all want to leave something better behind for our children. That’s why we’re all here,” said Obama, sounding like what some commentators have dubbed the “Mom in Chief.”

Obama acknowledged supporters might be impatient the new administration hasn’t fixed all the problems in the country yet. She reminded the crowd her husband had warned against expecting everything to get better overnight.

“This election isn’t just about what we’ve accomplished. This election is about all we have to do in the months and years ahead,” she said.

Before flying to Denver on Thursday morning, Obama cast her own early-voting ballot in Chicago, where she also campaigned for Democratic candidates. Her next campaign stops are in San Francisco and the Los Angeles area, where she’ll campaign for California Sen. Barbara Boxer, according to an aide.

Obama is only one of the political heavyweights visiting the state before the election to help Bennet, who faces a tight race against Republican Ken Buck. On Monday, former President Bill Clinton is scheduled to lead a rally at a charter school in northeast Denver on the first day of early voting. Bennet aides are mum on whether President Obama will make a stop in Colorado, which he carried by almost 9 percentage points just two years ago.

Attendance at the luncheon fundraiser was an estimated 300 at the Cherry Hills Village home of Marc and Margot Pinto.

— Story and photos by Ernest Luning