June 02, 2014, 06:23 pm
First lady: 'Doable' for Dems to take back House
By Justin Sink
First lady Michelle Obama told donors Monday it was "doable" for Democrats to retake the House of Representatives in November.
Speaking at a Boston fundraiser benefiting the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the first lady noted that Democrats were just 17 seats away from returning the Speaker's gavel to Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
"That's a doable number," she said, if Democratic voters turn out at the polls.
But that's at odds with political experts who believe Democrats face steep odds for even picking up seats in November's election, and an even slimmer chance of regaining the House, in an unfavorable midterm climate.
In 2012, buoyed by President Obama's reelection effort, House Democrats combined to win approximately 1.4 million more votes than Republicans, but were unable to overcome gerrymandering advantages held by the GOP. Since then, the president's approval rating has significantly eroded. The University of Virginia Center for Politics's latest House ratings predict Republicans will net between five and eight House seats.
The first lady said the key to prevailing was luring women and minorities to the polls, even if they customarily stay home during midterm elections.
"We need to call them and remind them that the midterms are coming, and we need to give them a ride to the polls to make sure they get there," the first lady said.
Obama also encouraged attendees at the dinner to write a "big fat check."
"It is simply not enough for us to have the best candidates if they don't have the resources we need to win elections," she said.
The first lady said the 2014 election was the president's "last campaign."
"Because if we lose these midterm elections, it's gonna be a whole lot harder to finish what we started together," the first lady said.
She also bragged the president had accomplished much of the "change" he promised as a candidate.
"Five years later, now that we've had 50 straight months of job growth, now that this administration has created 9.2 million private sector jobs and our auto industry has come roaring back — now that we're here, it's easy to forget where we started," the first lady said.
Fifteen Democratic congresswomen accompanied the first lady for the event. Ticket prices to benefit the DCCC ranged from between $500 per person to $32,400 per couple.