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First Lady Jill Biden's first campaign area fundraiser for the Biden Victory Fund was in Seattle (NPI-created photo art)

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.

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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