The Chicago Sun-Times Abdon M. Pallasch is the pool reporter covering First Lady Michelle Obama at the Illinois Democratic Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias fund-raiser in Chicago on Wednesday night. Here is his report:
Pallasch pool report:
First lady Michelle Obama was introduced in the University Club's Cathedral Room to a standing ovation from the approximately 200 donors in attendance.
She hugged Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias, who stood behind her left shoulder as she delivered her speech.
"I am thrilled to be back home in my home town, Chicago," Obama said. "I get to sleep in my own bed tonight."
She repeated many of the same tributes her husband gave to Giannoulias when he was her last week, noting that he is funding his campaign without taking money from corporate PACs or federal lobbyists.
"The way he's running this campaign, a campaign supported by the folks who are actually going to be the people he serves ... I know he will be a phenomenal senator."
Noting how long she and her husband have known Giannoulias, a frequent hoops buddy of the president, she said, "We have seen him grow."
The first lady made a push for early voting and said she would be early-voting herself Thursday morning.
"This is my first day out on the campaign trail," she said. "This is not something I do very often..."
"My husband can't do this alone," she said. "He needs leaders like Alexi right by his side. And we need folks like all of you to make that happen. We need you to make those phone calls for Alexi. We need you to knock on those doors for this handsome young man... people will vote for him."
Among the guests were: Sens. Dick Durbin and Roland Burris, Gov. Pat Quinn, Lt. Gov. candidate Sheila Simon, U.S. Reps. Jan Schakowsky and Bobby Rush, former state Comptroller Dawn Clark Netsch; former State Senate President and Barack Obama's mentor Emil Jones; Giannoulias' chief of staff and candidate to replace him Robin Kelly; state comptroller candidate David Miller.
Tickets ranged from $500 to $10,000 per couple at the first event, with proceeds going to Giannoulias' campaign and other Democratic campaigns in Illinois. She is headed toward a second event for congressional candidates.