Michelle Obama is a speedy traveler. After casting an early vote in her hometown of Chicago yesterday, she flew to Denver to show her support for U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, one of many Democrats across the nation facing a fierce Republican challenge in the midterm elections (via the Chicago Sun-Times). Her job, as The Associated Press puts it, is to “fire up downtrodden Democrats” by attempting to “recapture their excitement from two years ago,” when voters put President Barack Obama and the Democrats in control of the White House and Congress.

At a private luncheon for donors in Cherry Hills Village, the first lady helped place $270,000 into Bennet’s campaign coffers. “Being in this wonderful state brings back some wonderful memories,” she said. “I don’t know if anybody remembers that little gathering at Invesco Field,” she added, referring to her husband’s nomination speech during the Democratic National Convention in 2008 (via The Denver Post). Democrats need to get “fired up, ready to go,” she continued, urging each member of the crowd to go out and convince people who “plan on sitting this one out” to get involved.

The Washington Post points out that much of Michelle Obama’s election sweep is scripted, and for the next two weeks, she’s scheduled to deliver the same, 2,700-word stump speech (ad libs notwithstanding). Nonetheless, what remains to be seen is the popular first lady’s ability to empower the Democratic base.

Meanwhile, The New York Times takes a serious look at the “wide influence” the tea party is set to gain in Congress, even as Bloomberg Businessweek explains at-length how those tea partiers “could throw the U.S. economy into chaos.”