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Michelle Obama does jumping jacks, then campaigns

at 09:00 AM ET, 10/12/2011

After leading a group of schoolchildren in an attempt to break the world record for the most people doing jumping jacks in a 24-hour period, Michelle Obama jumped back to a duty that has been taking up more of her time in recent months: raising money for her husband’s 2012 re-election campaign.
First lady Michelle Obama does jumping jacks with 400 school children on the South Lawn of the White House. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images) (Mark Wilson - GETTY IMAGES)

On Tuesday night, Obama brought her message to Democrats in Washington, D.C. at two fancy evening events that raked in several hundred thousand dollars.

Obama, who was once famously reluctant about her husband launching a career in politics and is now one of the most popular figures in the Democratic Party, has held similar events in California, Maine and Vermont. She has been raising money in earnest since May.

In the District, Obama stuck close to the theme that has become central to her remarks: highlighting what she said is the progress made in the first two years of the administration, as well as how much work is left to do.

“The fact is that in just a little over a year from now, we are going to make a decision between two very different visions of this country,” Obama said. “And I’m here because when it comes to just about every single issue -- from our health to our economic security, to the quality of our schools -- the stakes for our families and for our country have never been higher.”

The first lady outlined what she did not want donors to forget: that the president had signed the Lilly Ledbetter Act requiring equal pay for women, passed a health-care overhaul and appointed two women to the Supreme Court.

The first lady’s first event of the night at the Marriott Wardman Park hotel in Woodley Park was ticketed at $100 to $1,000 per person. The second event was in a backyard tent at the home of Kathleen Kaye and David McKean in Cleveland Park and tickets were priced up to $5,000. McKean, who is the former chief of staff for Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), introduced the first lady as her husband’s “secret weapon” in what he expects to be a close election.

Obama’s poll numbers, which eclipsed those of political figures in both political parties last year, are higher than her husband’s and she is expected to be an important part of his re-election campaign.

“I am in, and I’m going to work my tail off to make sure this country is on the right track,” FLOTUS said.

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