First Lady Michelle Obama has cancelled her plans to head to California over the weekend for some political fundraising because of the federal government’s ongoing shutdown.
Obama was scheduled to headline a $32,000-a-head fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee at the Los Angeles-area home of "Everybody Loves Raymond" creator Philip Rosenthal. The First Lady also had to scrap her plan to meet House minority leader Nancy Pelosi for a “Woman’s Brunch” fundraiser at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco.
Proceeds from the brunch were supposed to go to the Democrats’ efforts to recapture the House. Tickets for the event were selling from $500 to $32,000 each.
Menlo College political science professor Melissa Michaelson said the move was about perception.
“I think right now with everyone worried about the shutdown, not knowing how long it’s going to last, to look like we’re acting like everything’s normal, we’re going to keep fundraising, we’re just going to think about the next election, it looks like the party is not focused enough,” Michaelson said.
Michelle’s husband, President Barack Obama, was forced to cancel a similar fundraising trip that would have taken him to the home of “Friends” co-creator Marta Kauffman and her husband, composer Michael Skloff, because of the crisis in Syria.