Subject: Travel Pool #9
Travel pool #9
The president spoke to about 350 supporters at a fundraiser at the Chicago Cultural Center, in an ornate, high-ceilinged room where guests in business attire mingled and sipped wine to music such as Sister Sledge’s “We Are Family” and “Celebration” by Kool & The Gang.
Tickets for the event started at $2,500. There was no estimate available on the total haul. The room was not quite full.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel introduced the president. He asked the group to remember what it was like when Obama walked into the Oval Office three and a half years ago, with the “worst economy since the Great Depression.”
“Through the sheer force of will of this one man,” he’s getting the economy moving again, Emanuel said.
He said Obama could have chosen any profession after law school, but chose to work as a community organizer in South Side Chicago. Now, when the chips are down, he said, it’s those values and voices Obama remembers.
“Those are the decisions that get made in the Oval Office. You’ve got to remember who you are there for.”
The easy decisions, he joked, “are left up to the chief of staff.”
He said this president is getting the country moving again.
Mr. Obama took the stage at 6:27 p.m. Central to loud cheers and applause.
“It is good to be back home, I am sleeping in my bed tonight,” he said. “I’m going to go to my kitchen, I might cook something. It’s good to be home.”
He called Emanuel “one of the best chiefs of staff you could ever want to have.”
“I’m here because not only do I need your help, but your country needs your help.”
“I know your values and I know what you care about. The election four years ago wasn’t just about me. It was about our commitments to each other. It was about core, basic beliefs we had in America and in America’s future. We believed everybody should have a fair shot. Everybody should play by the same set of rules.”
He said it shouldn’t matter what you look like “or who you love,” which drew cheers.
The president went into standard campaign riff about how bad the country was when he inherited the bad economy, and of the systemic economic problems.
All of it “came tumbling down” while the 2008 campaign was still going on, he said.
We had to make sure the “iconic auto industry was saved,” he said.
“Most of those decisions weren’t easy. We knew we’d be subject to political criticism,” he said.
“We have now seen over two years of the economy growing and jobs being produced,” he said of his policies.
But he acknowledged, “it’s not where we need to be. A lot of that is attributable to Europe. That’s having an impact on us. We’ve got more work to do. We’ve still got miles to go on this journey.”
He said the contrast in this election is more stark than the last one. He said the Republican nominee “has achieved great personal success. God bless him.”
But he said the policies the GOP pursues are the same ones that got us into this mess in the first place — more cuts to education, transportation, and the social safety net. “We’ve seen this philosophy before. The good thing is, we’ve come to our senses.”
The room was mostly quiet as Mr. Obama spoke, punctuated with applause only now and then.
“The good news is, the majority of the American people share our vision.”
He said we have obligations to the future. “That’s what we’re fighting for.”
“I don’t want to live in a country where all we’re doing is thinking about ourselves” and not thinking about future generations, he said. Romney, he said, has a plan with $5 trillion in additional tax cuts. “Don’t buy that song and dance that we’re concerned about future generations” when you don’t think Warren Buffett should pay more in taxes, he said.
“How hard are we willing to fight?” he asked. A few voices called out in agreement.
“This time we’re going to have to be more determined,” the president said. “I still believe in you.”
The president repeated the contention that government spending has risen at a slower rate in his administration than any since Eisenhower.
He said he did the right thing by ending Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and ending the war in Iraq.
We’re moving on to the next, more exclusive, fundraiser. The second and third fundraisers tonight are at private homes, with roughly 50 people at each. Chaka Peterson’s home is the site of the first. Then Obama heads to the Jim Crown residence, where Tom Thibodeau is one of the guests.
Those tickets are $35,800 per person. Some of the attendees are political guests and so didn’t pay, but the campaign isn’t sure how many.
The Washington TImes