Good afternoon, happy autumn, and welcome back to NPI’s continuing coverage of First Lady Jill Biden’s September 2023 visit to the Seattle area!
FLOTUS, as Dr. Biden is referred to in the lingo of the White House press corps, has just finished the second stop on her public itinerary for the day: a Biden Victory fund reception in Shoreline with about one hundred supporters.
It’s one of two campaign events the First Lady is headlining today for the Biden-Harris campaign and the Democratic Party. I’m chronicling both on behalf of the White House press corps as the editorial pool reporter.
Our journey to the Shoreline event began almost immediately after the First Lady finished participating in a listening session at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, which you can read about here. The motorcade left the Fred Hutch campus at 3:28 PM Pacific Time, bound for Shoreline.
We arrived at 3:54 PM after a sunny and pleasant drive.
A few folks who might have been nearby residents snapped photos of the motorcade as we pulled into the neighborhood.
The First Lady’s fundraiser in Shoreline took place at the home of Jaime Van Horne Robinson and Jaison Robinson, according to the Biden-Harris campaign.
They reside in a mansion on a large, beautiful, and leafy estate with a circular driveway and a spacious, detached garage.
At 4:12 PM, I was ushered into the event space.
(It is standard protocol at campaign fundraising events for editorial pool reporters to be brought in for the President, Vice President, First Lady, or Second Gentleman’s remarks and then be escorted out once those remarks are finished.)
The reception was held on the back patio of the mansion, which has a nice view of Puget Sound flanked by trees. A buffet and cocktail tables were set up along one side of the mansion for the guests. Among the more than one hundred guests was Martin Luther King Jr. County Democratic Party Chair Carrie Barnes.
Some guests were seated for the remarks, but some were standing.
Jaime introduced Dr. Biden.
“I can’t tear myself away from this beautiful view,” Biden said after stepping up to the podium. She spoke of how happy she is to be back in Seattle.
She asked if anyone was from Philly; several raised their hands.
The First Lady recounted meeting President Biden for the first time and joked about how many times he had proposed to her, and how she had seen him live out his faith. “He has an unshakeable hope in the future of our country,” she said, going on to tout the administration’s record.
She got applause when she mentioned passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (and specifically its climate action provisions), the confirmation of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, and President Biden’s work to create jobs.
“He did all of this with integrity, with humanity, and with wisdom,” Dr. Biden said.
The President needs four more years to get the job done, she told the crowd.
“My husband… has always been a champion for women,” she emphasized.
She mentioned Joe Biden’s decades-long work, including as a United States Senator, to defend access to contraception, access to abortion, and writing the Violence Against Women Act. And she contrasted it with the way that the other major party has been conducting itself in our nation’s capital.
“Look what’s going on. Watch what’s going to go on this week,” the First Lady said, lambasting House Republicans for failing to pass legislation to prevent a government shutdown and launching an impeachment inquiry.
“Your choices are so clear,” she said, referring to the upcoming 2024 election, characterizing the Republican opposition as marked by chaos and corruption.
She asked attendees to go out and talk to their friends about Biden’s record.
“We need you. All of you. Don’t let it be like that election in 2016, when we woke up and said to ourselves, My God, what have we done,” she said.
“Together, we’re going to win this election, and then we’re going to finish the job,” she said in closing.
Very shortly after that, around 4:26 PM, I headed back to the press van to be ready to depart to our next stop, which will be on Mercer Island.