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So Councilmember Tim Burgess ran into me on the street this morning outside of Dino Rossi's speech at the Washington Athletic Club, mentioned that he had a ticket to Obama's fundraiser at the Westin today, and quickly became The Stranger's senior White House correspondent.

Check back to this post for continuing updates sent via Burgess's iPad.

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12:04 p.m.

The program should start any minute now. The grand ballroom at the Westin is packed. We started this experience in the security line. It stretched outside and down 5th Avenue. Took me about 45 minutes to make it through that process.

Here's the program lineup: Total Experience Gospel Choir, Cong Jay Inslee, Gov Chris Gregoire, Suzi LeVine, Marcelas Owens, Sen Patty Murray, President Obama.


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12:23 p.m.

I'm way off in the corner but the big screen is great!

12:26 p.m.

Pat Wright is singing "America the Beautiful." Standing ovation.

Jay Inslee just announced he's introducing new legislation in the House: the Dino Rossi Three Strikes You're Out bill. Big cheers.

12:36 p.m.

Inslee is giving a broad summary of Sen Murray's career. He's painting the choice in the Murray-Rossi contest as a choice between effective leadership and fear.

Inslee is citing a raft of legislative accomplishments Murray can rightfully take credit for . . . equal pay for equal work, Wall Street reform, health care reform, veterans care, federal funding to retain teacher jobs without adding to federal deficit. He's pitching the crowd now for campaign help. Inslee is an effective speaker; he's trying to rally the crowd like he used to guide the Ingraham Ram's football team. He just had us all text "Patty" to 68398 to join the Murray campaign.

We're watching a Murray campaign video now.

12:39 p.m.

Gov Gregoire speaking now. She's touting the power of Washington's congressional delegation.

12:47 p.m.

Gregoire is doing much the same as Inslee, citing Murray's record. She just gave strong defense of Murray's pro choice advocacy, said Rossi is lying about his position.

National TV crews and other journalists just came into the back of ballroom, pretty strong clue the President has entered the hotel.

Gov just got biggest cheer of event when she said about Dino, "2004 strike one, 2008 strike two, 2010 strike three and Dino you're out!"

12:49 p.m.

Gov is leading us through the liturgy of the hour. "Do we want (insert negative attack line) or do we want Patty." Crowd shouts Patty.

12:51 p.m.

Gregoire: "You know what, I'll take a mom in tennis shoes any day before I'll take a real estate guy in wingtips!"

1 p.m.

Suzi Levine is making the fund raising pitch.

Murray speaking now. Marcelas Owens introduced senator. He's the 11 year old boy who became the poster child for health care reform.

1:03 p.m.

The President is up next. Senator Murray is building up to his introduction.

1:04 p.m.

President on stage now. Wild cheers.

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1:13 p.m.

The President is praising Sen Murray. Talking about how he sat next to her on Senate Committee. Just proclaimed that Washington state and the country needs Patty in the Senate.

I'm sitting here with over 1,000 people listening to the president and remembering why I voted for this guy. He makes me so proud to be an American. His election is such a powerful testament to the values of the American people.

1:17 p.m.

President is focusing on economic growth, especially manufacturing and small businesses. Talking about global economic competition. Gets his first standing ovation with "you didn't send me to Washington to do what is popular, you sent me to do what is right."

1:25 p.m.

President Obama is relaxed and feisty. He joking about his campaign slogan, "yes we can" and contrasting it with the Republicans "no we can't." Crowd is eating it up.

1:28 p.m.

Wow! This is fun. Obama is having a blast and so are we.

1:35 p.m.

The President is describing the differences between the Obama-Murray agenda and the Republicans. Wrapping up. Big cheers.

2:08 p.m.

Great event. The president took the fight to the GOP today, clearly describing the state of the country when he took office, demeaning the GOP non-plan for the future as a return to the failed policies of the past. He pumped up the crowd, got them up on their feet cheering. Exactly what political pep rallies like this are designed for.

That's it. Back to work now.