UPDATED … First lady Michelle Obama hits Chicago and Madison, Wisconsin, on Tuesday mainly for Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and Wisconsin Democratic governor candidate Mary Burke, with an assist to Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, and the entire Illinois Democratic ticket. Before the rally at the UIC Pavillion, Mrs. Obama is headlining a $10,000-a-person fundraiser for Quinn at the MK Restaurant, for about 30 donors.
I’m at the Pavillion and it is filling up with thousands expected. Borrowing from a classic 2008 Obama campaign theme, a sign on the podium says “Fired Up, Ready to Vote. Voting Starts Oct. 20.”
The screen above the stage is highlighting a Quinn campaign slogan, “Everybody In-Nobody Left Out.”
Mrs. Obama’s main event for Quinn is a get-out-the-vote rally for Quinn at the UIC Pavillion at 3 p.m.. Besides the Quinn fundraiser and Mrs. Obama will also take photos with some of Durbin’s top donors. The UIC program will feature speeches by Quinn, Durbin, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Rep. Luis Gutierrez D-Ill. and other Dems running for congressional and state offices. The Quinn folks were putting the finishing touches on the program today.
The first lady has a get-out-the vote stump speech that has a basic message to Democrats: They need to vote in the non-presidential years.
“We don’t have to convince anybody new; we just have to find us and get us registered. So we should be able to do this, right,” Mrs. Obama said last month at a Democratic National Committee conference targeting female donors.
That message is most important in Illinois, where there are plenty of Democrats. The challenge for Quinn, in a tight race against GOP nominee Bruce Rauner, is to make sure they vote. The Illinois Democrat ticket has launched a massive early vote drive.
Last week, President Barack Obama raised more than $1 million for Quinn at a fundraiser on Chicago’s Gold Coast.