Michelle Obama: President was 'awesome' in debate

First lady Michelle Obama takes the stage to First lady Michelle Obama takes the stage to speak during the 2012, Democratic National Convention at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C. (Sept. 4, 2012) Photo Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara

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First lady Michelle Obama, appearing Wednesday at a Woodbury fundraising luncheon, called her husband's debate performance at the Hofstra University presidential debate "awesome" as she helped collect more than $80,000 for his campaign.

Obama said she was "a little bleary eyed" after Tuesday night's combative debate between President Barack Obama and GOP contender Mitt Romney.

Yet she said, "Let me tell you, I am so glad last night was such an awesome, awesome event for him."

The first lady added, "After hearing my husband talk about his values and his vision for the country at the debate, I'm feeling pretty fired up and ready to go myself."

She spoke at the Crest Hollow Country Club to what the campaign said were 315 donors.

Obama won the biggest applause when she spoke about her husband's policies related to women, including the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and support for a woman's right to control her body.

She added a personal touch, noting that her wedding anniversary had landed on the day of the first presidential debate on Oct. 3 in Denver.

"We got a quick little dinner. That's about it," she said of the evening. "But it's OK. On Nov. 7, we're going to party hard."

Obama was introduced by Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington), chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Co-sponsors were Nassau County Democratic chairman Jay Jacobs, Long Island's Democratic national committeeman Robert Zimmerman and former Suffolk County Legis. Jon Cooper, an early Barack Obama supporter.

The first lady was scheduled to appear at another fundraiser in Manhattan.

Tickets for the Woodbury event started at $250 -- though party officials said many people wrote bigger checks -- and $500 for the Manhattan fundraiser. The campaign said it would not release the total amounts raised at the events.Both the Obama and Romney campaigns raised money in New York this week.

On Monday, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the GOP vice presidential candidate, attended fundraisers in New York City.

The scramble for money this late in the campaign is a new twist, Zimmerman said. "Traditionally, the campaign fundraising ended before the party conventions," he said.

A key reason they're still at it is that both Obama and Romney have opted out of public presidential funding, which limits the amount they can spend, and super PACs are pouring unlimited funds into independently produced broadcast ads.

The money from both of the First Lady's New York fundraisers goes to Obama Victory Fund, a committee set up to raise money jointly for both the presidential campaign fund, Obama for America, and the Democratic National Committee and state party committees.

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