Michelle Obama was forced to cancel her trip to California this week, where she was supposed to speak at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser amid the government shutdown, leading some to suspect that the move was political.
The First Lady was scheduled to headline Friday’s $32,000-a-head political event at the Los Angeles home of “Everybody Loves Raymond” creator Philip Rosenthal, but the fundraiser was nixed, the DNC and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced Tuesday.
Obama’s travel and expenses would have been covered by the DNC and DCCC, Politico reported. However, even though the events wouldn’t have cost the government any resources, it wouldn’t have given off a good impression, experts say.
“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,” Melissa Michaelson, a political science professor at Menlo College, told NBC Bay Area.
Obama was also scheduled to appear at a “Woman’s Brunch” fundraiser with House minority leader Nancy Pelosi in San Francisco on Sunday, but that, too, was canceled.
That event was aimed at raising money to help the Democrats recapture the House majority in the 2014 mid-term elections, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
A DNC spokesperson said the fundraisers will be rescheduled when the shutdown is over.
Also on Tuesday, Vice President Joe Biden’s office announced he had canceled a trip to New Jersey to help Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker campaign for a Senate seat.