Below is the travel pool report. Note the ‘shout out’ President Clinton got (in orange text.)
Travel pool report #5
Obama luncheon speech at Julia Morgan Ballroom, San Francisco
On hand: Gov. Jerry Brown and baseball hall of famer Willie Mays.
Mays introduced Obama. His mission seemed to be to remind folks just how thrilling it was to elect the first black president. Wearing a ballcap, he likened the excitement of seeing Obama elected to the excitement of the World Series. And he recalled staying up very late on election night, unwilling to turn off the TV.
“We have a man that we want to get back into the White House. We need him,” Mays said.
Mays, 81, recounted in some detail how he managed to wangle an invitation to fly aboard Air Force One, the thrill and amazement at this turn of events coming off as still fresh.
“I had no idea in my lifetime that we would have an African-American guy in the White House,” he said. (It sounded like “Afro-American.”)
Obama came on stage and they embraced.
“Willie Mayes, everybody,” he said. “The Say Hey Kid.”
Obama, riffing off Mayes’ talk, agreed that he has a cool plane. But “as cool as Air Force One is, it is much much cooler when Willie Mays is with you on the plane.” And he said, he couldn’t have made history as he did without ballplayers like Mays and Jackie Robinson “to lay the groundwork for a more inclusive America.”
Then he launched into a stump speech. Nothing about Wisconsin recall, European turmoil, California primary etc.
“We’ve got to finish what we’ve started and that’s why I’m running again for president of the United States of America,” he said.
Said this election presents an especially stark choice, more so than 2008 because McCain, unlike Romney, believed in such things as climate change, campaign finance reform, immigration reform.
He invoked Bill Clinton, but only to quote him saying that Republicans don’t have any new ideas.
“What are they offering? They’re offering not just the Bush taxes but an additional $5 trillion of tax cuts for people who don’t need ‘em. We know it’ll blow up the deficit but their theory… is that the economy grows best when we are all on our own, when the market is king and regulations are stripped away.”
Democrats, he said, “deeply believe in the free markets” and innovation, Obama said.
“This is going to be a tough race, precisely because the economy is not where it needs to be yet,” Obama said.
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee spoke before Mays.
“President Obama is the person that we need if we’re going to continue on our road to recovery,” Lee said. “…He’s got the same vision—invest in innovation. Create jobs. Make sure that we’ve got housing policies to make sure we’ve got housing opportunities for everyone.”
“This election year people will have a choice… you want to move forward? You want to keep that success going? Or do we want to make that other choice and move backwards,” Lee said.
Obama gave shoutouts to Gov. Jerry Brown, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Mayor Lee and – unclear why exactly he’s here –an especially effusive shoutout to Tim Kaine, the former Virginia governor and DNC chairman, now a US Senate candidate. (Also here: Dick Blum, husband of Sen. Feinstein
Note that the ballroom is in the Merchants Exchange Building. That’s the name of the building where the pool held, correcting name used in report #4.
The ballroom is a historic space. Dark paneling. Rectangular. 27 tables, we’re told, for a total of 270 donors at $5,000 each.
Obama spoke without visible notes, with a U.S. and California flag behind him.
Lunch for the donors: grilled Coho salmon with sea beans, purple artichokes and lemon caper sauce.
At a table in the back, near the pool, San Francisco lawyer (and donor) Martin Checov, offered a rebuttal to GOP attacks on Obama’s fund-raising focus.
“The other candidate’s travel schedule is no more oriented to the masses,” he said. “I wish we had a system where this kind of fundraising isn’t necessary.”
Checov said the food was better than one usually gets at such events.
Pool hustled downstairs at 3pm to vans parked atop clanging cable car tracks. Waiting to head to airport for flight to Los Angeles.
Todd J. Gillman
The Dallas Morning News