Special to the Reporter
First Lady Jill Biden finished her final Seattle-area stop, a Mercer Island event for the Biden Victory Fund, on Sept. 22.
The motorcade departed from Shoreline, the previous stop, at 4:48 p.m. and headed to Mercer Island. A little more than 10 minutes before the time advertised on the First Lady’s schedule for the second reception (6 p.m.), we were on the Island.
As we approached the event location, we passed a neighbor waving and holding a big sign that read “We Love Jill Biden.” At about 5:55 p.m., a very short distance from our destination, we made an impromptu stop so that FLOTUS could greet a group of enthusiastic kids from the neighborhood. Pool was invited out of the van to observe, requested permission to take photos, and this request was granted.
Pool heard FLOTUS discuss her visit to Mercer Island and then explain that she will be getting in her plane to go to California after she departs the neighborhood.
FLOTUS then posed for a photo with the kids (several of whom were wearing Girl Scout uniforms) prior to getting back into the motorcade.
We were on the move again moments later and it took all of two minutes for us to finish our journey.
After a brief hold, pool was escorted to the back of the home of Joe and Judy Schocken, who are the hosts for this Biden Victory Fund reception, according to the campaign. The property abuts Lake Washington, with a dock and shoreline. Most of the guests were seated for the remarks.
The sun was getting low as the event began, casting the yard in a beautiful evening light.
FLOTUS walked out at 6:22 p.m. to be introduced by Joe Schocken.
U.S. Representatives Suzan DelBene, Adam Smith and Kim Schrier (who each represent slices of east King County) were present. They were acknowledged and thanked during the introduction along with the event’s many co-hosts, such as former Ambassador Suzi LeVine, who couldn’t attend.
An eagle flew overhead just before FLOTUS stepped to the podium, which caught the attention of many of the attendees. Many audibly marveled at the sight.
FLOTUS was given a standing ovation and began speaking at 6:28 p.m.
“I think that was a sign, that eagle,” FLOTUS said.
As in Shoreline, FLOTUS asked if anyone was from Philly, and two people indicated that they were.
And again, she recounted meeting POTUS, their first date, and Joe Biden’s many marriage proposals.
“I knew if I said yes to Joe, it had to be forever,” FLOTUS said.
“Over the years I’ve been continually inspired by his resilience and his optimism.”
“Anyone can tell you what they want to do. Joe can tell you what he’s done.”
FLOTUS highlighted many of the same accomplishments she touted in Shoreline (Inflation Reduction Act/climate, Justice Jackson, jobs), but also declared that POTUS had restored America’s credibility on the world stage.
She mentioned her recent trip to New York and emphasized how many people came up to her and said how thankful they were to see wise leadership at the helm of the United States again.
Referring to the Trump years, she drew a contrast with the previous administration, denouncing “U.S. policy dictated by late night tweetstorms,” “relentless attacks on our institutions” and “contempt for the rule of law.”
FLOTUS framed the choice in the 2024 presidential election as a choice between “chaos, crisis, and corruption, or strong and steady leadership that actually gets things done.”
“You helped put him in the White House last election, and we need your help to finish the job. I want to ask you to start now and talk to your friends about what’s at stake in this election. I want you to talk about how much my husband Joe Biden has delivered for America,” she said.
FLOTUS then asked attendees to remember how they felt the morning after the November 2016 election, repeating her Shoreline comments.
The end of the 2024 presidential election cycle is more than a year away, but FLOTUS urged Biden Victory Fund donors to get engaged now.
“I know it’s early, but we’re going to start early,” she said.
Earlier in the day, FLOTUS visited the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle for a tour of a metastatic cancer laboratory and sit-down conversation with researchers as part of White House Cancer Moonshot efforts.