First Lady: Renew The Promise
STAMFORD — First Lady Michelle Obama’s visit to the Palace Theater on Monday wasn’t about boosting Richard Blumenthal’s Senate campaign. Rather, she said it was about reminding the 1,600 Democrats in attendance what they voted for when they elected her husband two years ago.
Mrs. Obama, who took the stage at exactly at 1 p.m., said she did not want supporters to think they were here just because it is an election year or because they support Blumenthal.
“We’re not just here because there’s an election. We’re not just here because we support Dick,” Obama said. “We’re here to renew that promise. We’re here to restore that dream.”
Obama spoke about the American dream of being able to work and bring home a decent wage and pension, being able to see a doctor when you are sick, and being able to provide for a family and leave something behind for your children.
“That is the vision we all share,” Obama said. “That is the vision my husband fought for as a young community organizer all those years ago.”
She said middle class families all over this country are asking themselves why they can’t give their children what they had, and “maybe that fundamental American promise was being broken and worse yet no one in Washington was listening.” She said that i why her husband ran for president in the first place.
As she rattled off a number of accomplishments such as national health care reform and credit card reform, adding, “This is some good stuff.” However, she said, “I know a lot of folks are still hurting. I know for a lot of folks change hasn’t come fast enough and believe me change hasn’t come fast enough for Barack or Dick either.”
But she reminded supporters that her husband told them on the campaign trail that change wasn’t going to happen overnight.
“You have got to have his back,” Obama said. “You just can’t vote once and wait for change to happen.”
In order to do that Obama, who attended a brief fundraising luncheon for Blumenthal before speaking, said her husband will need Blumenthal in the U.S. Senate to achieve his vision.
Blumenthal, who has been attorney general for 20 years, is running against Republican wrestling executive Linda McMahon for U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd’s seat. The race, which is still tight according to most polls, has gotten heated over the final few weeks with attacks coming fast and furious from both sides.
McMahon’s spokesman sent out a statement before Mrs. Obama spoke Monday saying, “Linda is the only candidate in this race who has created jobs and understands how we can put Connecticut back to work.”
U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, who is up for re-election, said toward the beginning of the program that the work Democrats did in 2008 is not done.
State Rep. Toni Walker of New Haven said Democrats don’t praise themselves enough for all they accomplish because they’re already onto the next issue by the time the first one is solved.
Walker’s constituent, Christine Bartlett-Josie of New Haven, said she hoped Obama reminds “all of us we can’t go back.” She said the job has just begun and “we have to continue to finish the job.”