First lady Michelle Obama urged supporters of her husband's presidency Friday to stay focused and energetic over the final 11 days of his re-election campaign, in comments at the La Jolla home of Qualcomm co-founder Irwin Jacobs and his wife, Joan.
About 230 people attended the fundraiser for President Barack Obama's "2012 Victory Fund." According to U-T San Diego, the meal cost $1,000 a plate for an omelet bar, quesadillas, salmon, chorizo and fruit and pastries of all kinds, but a photo with Michelle Obama cost $5,000.
"Treat these 11 days like the last five minutes of a horrible workout," Michelle Obama said in a transcript of her 33-minute speech released by the White House. "You can get through anything. Just bear down. Don't look at the clock too much. It will be over before you know. But we need you to keep doing what you're doing. Keep writing those checks. If you have not maxed, max out."
According to the transcript, Obama suggested amid laughter that those in the crowd should avoid watching television until the campaign is over.
Her husband's re-election fight against Mitt Romney, the Republican former governor of Massachusetts, has resulted in record amounts of spending on TV air time -- though very little of it has appeared in blue California.
Most of her remarks touched on the president's personal qualities, such as his commitment to helping others.
"And see, the truth is that, with Barack, I found a real connection because in his life story, I saw so much of my own," the transcript quoted her as saying.
The event brought a heavy law enforcement presence to the normally quiet neighborhood, plus a few protesters.
"I'm here to make a statement in opposition to Obama and his agenda by way of saying hello to Michelle Obama and let her know we're looking forward to having a First Lady that's always been proud of our country in Ann Romney," said Sylvia Sullivan, the president of the East County California Republican Assembly.
Other protesters hired an aircraft that flew a banner reading, "Remove Dictator Obama."
Others drawn to the neighborhood were more supportive.
"He's done a wonderful job, considering what he had to take over," said Patricia Wilkey, a La Jolla resident.
Jacobs recently was listed as the second-largest contributor to the president's campaign and political action committees, giving more than $2.1 million, according to U-T San Diego.
The largest Obama campaign benefactor, at $2.56 million, is reported to be DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg.
The visit to San Diego was the first lady's third since her husband became president in January 2009.
She attended a campaign event Thursday at the Los Angeles-area home of actors Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, and taped an appearance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live."
After leaving the Jacobs' home, the first lady flew to Las Vegas. Nevada is one of the closely watched swing states.