BELLEVUE - Pumping up a mostly female crowd Monday, first lady Michelle Obama said Washington voters must send Democratic Sen. Patty Murray back to Washington, D.C., to help carry out President Barack Obama's agenda.
Mrs. Obama urged the audience of about 1,400 at a fundraising luncheon to stay energized and drum up votes for Murray and other Democrats on the ticket.
“This election isn’t just about all that we’ve accomplished these past couple of years. This election is about all that we have left to do in the months and years ahead,” Mrs. Obama said. “And Washington, let me just say this: My husband can’t do this alone.”
Democrats, who control the U.S. House and Senate, are hoping to avoid crippling losses next week. Midterm elections typically are unkind to the president’s party, a historical disadvantage that is compounded this year by lingering economic troubles.
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Murray’s race against Republican Dino Rossi will be critical in determining which party controls the Senate. Rossi, a real estate investor and former state senator, ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2004 and 2008.
Voting already was under way in Washington state, where it is conducted almost entirely with m a i l - i n b a l l o t s . Ballots must be postmarked by Election Day, Nov. 2.
Murray on Monday touted Democratic attempts to improve the economy and tighten regulations on Wall Street, a move Rossi has said should be reversed because it isn’t effective and could harm small businesses.
Murray also pointed to more Washington-focused efforts, particularly her advocacy to have The Boeing Co. produce a new generation of military refueling tankers.
“This state is my family, and like any mom, when my family is hurting, I get to work with all the energy I have to make things right again,” Murray said. “And believe me, I will take on the most powerful to make sure my family, my state, has what it needs to get it back on its feet again.”
Mrs. Obama’s appearance was the latest in an intense October parade of high-profile Democrats aiding her campaign. Just last week, Murray welcomed visits from President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and former President Bill Clinton.
In a conference call with reporters, Rossi said the flood of visitors “shows that they see she’s in trouble.”