OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
First Lady Jill Biden did not waste any time pressing attendees at a political event for Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams for more money.
Biden was in Atlanta on Friday on behalf of Abrams at an event that cost $1,000 just to get in the door. But 20 minutes after she began speaking, the first lady implored the audience to “dig a little deeper” and pony up more cash for the Democratic candidate.
“I’m asking you to dig a little deeper,” Biden said before quickly departing and heading to another event.
According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Abrams noted earlier this month that she anticipated “having folks from the Biden administration, including the president himself, if he can make it.”
While most Democratic candidates and incumbents are steering clear of President Joe Biden, Abrams is squarely aligning herself with him.
“I want to be a partner to the White House, not in opposition to it, because billions of dollars are coming to the state because of Joe Biden’s leadership, because of the leadership of [Democratic Sens.] Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff and our Democrats in our congressional delegation,” she told the AJC.
Abrams continues to lag behind incumbent GOP Gov. Brian Kemp in most polls. According to the Real Clear Politics average of polls, Kemp leads Abrams by 5.6 percent in the Peach State.
Apparently, $1,000 per attendee wasn’t enough.
— Conservative Tribune (@conserv_tribune) October 19, 2022
The New York Times noted:
Jill Biden’s weekend included five flights, 11 events, and three appearances with Democrats who all requested her help ahead of the midterm elections. There was also a spin class in there somewhere.
During one particularly busy 27-hour chunk of time, Dr. Biden, the first lady, appeared in Atlanta, where the voting rights activist Stacey Abrams is in an uphill race against Brian Kemp, the Republican governor. Then it was on to Florida, where she toured a breast cancer research facility and gave an interview with Newsmax, the conservative network. After that, she appeared with Representative Val B. Demings, who hopes to unseat Senator Marco Rubio, and Charlie Crist, a centrist Democrat who trails Ron DeSantis, the governor, and conservative firebrand.
“It’s not going to be easy,” Dr. Biden, on the last leg of a 15-hour day, told a group of people at a second event to support Ms. Demings on Saturday. “But we know how to win because we’ve done it before.”
That said, another report this week from the Times claimed that the first lady is playing an outsized role in the White House in order to protect her husband.
The Times quoted a witness source who claimed that Jill Biden is also wielding quite a bit of influence over President Joe Biden’s decisions as she participates directly in vetting administration officials and protecting her husband from long press conferences.
For instance, the first lady lashed out at senior members of her husband’s staff after he spoke at length during a press conference in January. Jill Biden reportedly demanded to know who was responsible for ending the presser that dragged on for almost two hours after Joe Biden began with a list of pre-selected reporters and then opened up questions from the floor, leading one reporter to ask for the president’s response to Americans becoming increasingly concerned about this mental status.
In addition, Jill Biden was involved in vetting former White House press secretary Jen Psaki and “has been involved in the hiring of [Joe Biden’s] press staff and other senior aides,” the Times reported.
The Daily Caller adds:
Jill Biden’s reported influence in the White House comes as Joe Biden has been scrutinized for being led off stage by the first lady, and appearing to be physically led away from reporters’ questions by the Easter Bunny.
Jill Biden has been appearing frequently on the campaign trail, traveling to states including Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, and Wisconsin, as Joe Biden’s poll numbers remain underwater weeks before the midterms.
The Times noted further: “With President Biden’s job approval hovering at about 40 percent at a moment when Democrats are struggling to hold on to the House and Senate, Dr. Biden has become a lifeline for candidates trying to draw attention and money but not the baggage that an appearance with her husband would bring. According to a senior White House official, she is the most requested surrogate in the administration.”
“She does not offend people in a way that a president can because she’s much less polarizing and political,” Michael LaRosa, a communications strategist, and her former press secretary told the Times. “It’s why she was sent all over rural Iowa and New Hampshire during the campaign and why she can go places now that the president can’t.”