The president has dispatched first lady Michelle Obama to rally Democrats around his beleaguered Obamacare which she has boiled down to one religious phrase: “There but for the grace of God go I.”

At a New York City fundraiser for Senate Democrats Monday, the first lady opened with a long defense of Obamacare, suggesting her audience lives by the principle that everyone should have insurance.

“We don’t believe in handouts. We don’t think anyone should get a free ride,” she said Monday afternoon in a speech at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers.

“But we also understand one simple principle — that there but for the grace of God go I; that in the blink of an eye, any of us — any of us — could be faced with a terrible diagnosis. Any of us could be injured in a horrible accident. Any of us could lose the job we count on to support our family — any of us,” she said.

“And when that happens, it shouldn’t mean falling off a cliff. It shouldn’t mean having to go without food, or medicine, or a roof over our heads — not here in the United States of America. Not in the greatest country on the planet. That is not who we are,” Obama added.

She conceded that political fights over the years, including over Obamacare, haven’t been a cakewalk. “I know it hasn’t always been easy. I know that there have been plenty of ups and downs over these years,” she said.

But, she added, the fight to keep Obamacare is something Democrats should join, not quit as it is besieged with problems. “What happened last month reminded us that the folks that we send to Washington make decisions about some very important issues — issues that affect our lives every single day. Will we be able to see a doctor when we’re sick? Will our businesses have what they need to create good jobs? Will our kids have what they need to learn and grow — things like decent nutrition, safe streets, good schools?”

Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at