Michelle Obama swooped into Boston today for a fundraiser for US Representative Edward J. Markey that was expected to net the Democratic Senate candidate at least $600,000 for his battle against Republican Gabriel E. Gomez.
“The first lady is a symbol of our future,” Markey told reporters outside the fundraiser at the Taj Boston. “She inspires millions of Americans, millions of people around the world, on a daily basis. So it is a tremendous honor for me to have the first lady here in Boston today, and I think it’s really going to provide real energy and impetus to my campaign.”
Inside the hotel, Obama told the crowd, “if you want to have my husband’s back, you need to support” Markey, according to a tweet from Carl Nilsson, Markey’s field director.
Well-heeled Democratic donors paid as much as $37,600 for tickets to the event, which benefits Markey Senate Victory, a joint fundraising committee of the Markey campaign and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
Security around the hotel was tight. A large contingent of Boston Police and State Police briefly blocked traffic on Arlington Street and kept pedestrians several blocks away from the entrance as Obama’s motorcade growled into an entryway to the hotel garage.
In addition to speaking to donors, Obama was also expected to meet inside the hotel with several survivors of the Boston Marathon bombings.
Attendees at the fundraiser included Jack Connors, the former ad executive; Gary L. Gottlieb, the chief executive of Partners HealthCare; and Robert C. Pozen, the Boston financier who was a chief economic advisor to Governor Mitt Romney.
Senators Elizabeth Warren and William “Mo” Cowan also attended.
They all dined on Boston Bibb lettuce with orange segments, walnuts, goat cheese and citrus basil vinaigrette, as well as roasted Chilean sea bass with a fricassée of asparagus, morels, green beans and shallots.
Boston resident Sarah Mars was one of the first people in line. She said she supports Markey “because of his strong, passionate beliefs” supporting women’s issues.
Andrea McLeod, a retired business consultant from Beverly, was among the donors eager to see Obama.
“Anybody who grows vegetables in the White House garden has my vote,” she said.