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Jill Biden Ramps Up Visits to Democratic Midterm Campaigns


Lauren A. Wright, a professor at Princeton who has written extensively about political appearances by first ladies, said the East Wing under Dr. Biden, 71, who kept teaching as an English professor as first lady, has develop into completely intertwined with the political efforts of the West Wing.

With the primaries over, each parties are shifting their focus to the overall election on Nov. 8.

“This role has develop into so serious and political,” she said. “It should be a part of the strategic White House planning and energy. Otherwise you’re wasting opportunities.”

As first lady, Dr. Biden has traveled to 40 states, and recently, she has tucked a plethora of political visits into trips that highlight her policy interests. On Thursday, she taught a full day of classes at Northern Virginia Community College before flying to Fort Benning in Georgia, where she visited with military families.

Her political appearances began on Friday evening, when she stood within the foyer of a house with Ms. Abrams and asked some 75 attendees, mostly women, to step closer to her. Then she took aim at Mr. Kemp and the policies that he supports, including a law he signed that bans abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy, and one other that limits voting access.

“I do know that makes you indignant,” she told them. “And it should make you indignant.”

Her presence is just not only a morale boost for Democrats in close races: She is a fund-raising draw who appeals to grass roots supporters, and individuals are more more likely to donate if she’s asking, based on a spokeswoman who works for the Democratic National Committee who was not authorized to talk publicly. Her events, emails, text messages and mailings have drawn hundreds of thousands of dollars for Democrats.

In Atlanta, Dr. Biden told her audience that she knew they’d already donated, but “I’m asking you to dig a little bit deeper.” (Each had already paid at the least $1,000 to attend the event.) The entire appearance took about 20 minutes, after which she was on the road to the following event, slipping out through a kitchen door with a coterie of aides.

By Saturday morning, Dr. Biden was in Florida — her second visit there this month — where she began the day on a motorcycle at a spin studio in Fort Lauderdale with several aides. (Apart from finding boutique fitness classes when she travels, she can be an avid runner, and has said that the exercise “creates a way of balance in my life.”) Then she stopped for a coffee (black, no sugar) with Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz in Fort Lauderdale before the 2 of them toured a breast cancer research facility.

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