White House Press Pool report

Subject: Pool report #9 At 6:57pm pool entered a large rectangle room where POTUS was to address donors. POTUS noted how competitive he is, saying: "I very much intend to win this election." He was introduced by Pam Hamamoto, who was one of POTUS's classmates at Punahou School in Honolulu. She said they met in the fall of 1971 when they both transferred to Punahou - she came from a few miles away and he came from Indonesia. "I still remember the first time I saw him on the playground," she said, "when a classmate pointed at him and asked me, 'Do you know Barry? Because he's a new kid too.' And I so I looked at him and I remember, I must confess, that it didn't cross my mind at the time that this young boy with bare feet and chubby cheeks would grow up to be president of the United States." POTUS, who stood with his arms crossed, nodded at the mention of him being barefoot and chubby. But, she said, looking back she's not surprised he did. Reading from note cards, she talked about them growing up in the melting pot of Hawaii. "On an island filled with immigrants, respect and compassion for hardworking people was just a way of life," she said. She talked about Mrs. Hefty (sp?) who taught them to read and write "but more importantly she developed our self-confidence." POTUS nodded at the mention of Mrs. Hefty. Ms. Hamamoto said they both played basketball at Punohoe but didn't take classes together. "I saw him to be an extremely hard worker, a loyal teammate, a fierce competitor and an inspirational leader just as she is today," she said. "I'd like to think these formative years played a critical role in shaping who you are today," she said to POTUS. "And I'm pleased that the president brought many of these values and traits with him to the White House." She said she sees it in how he works cooperatively with others, his commitment to education and how he is with his wife and daughters. "That was the sweetest introduction I've since I've been president," Mr. Obama said. He made a joke about her looking so much younger than him and blamed it on genes. He said the environment they grew up in provides him balance. "Sometimes people wonder why it that I seem pretty even-keeled, and I like to think part of it is that's how I'm hardwired but part of is when you spend your formative years in Hawaii you think to yourself, 'It can't be that bad.'" And if it is, he said, you go to body surf. POTUS said he wouldn't spend too much time speaking because he would take questions. He gave a similar speech as last night's print-only fundraiser. He started with the story about him and FLOTUS's anniversary dinner, noting that their anniversary fell on debate night but not making the joke about his performance in the debate. He added a little more detail, like that the waiter thanked him for health care reform while he was signing the check and that he still has a credit card. "And yes I still do have a credit card. Sometimes it takes me a while to find it," he said. He reminded them that there are 29 days left in the campaign. "We've got a lot more work to do to win the election, and then we have a lot more work to do to deliver on the promise," Mr. Obama said. "Having said all that," Mr. Obama said, "I am pretty competitive and I very much intend to win this election." "We're only going to win if everybody is almost obsessive for the next 29 days," Mr. Obama added, encouraging them to make phone calls, send emails and travel to Nevada to knock on doors. "You need to mobilize every resource that you've got to make sure that we bring this home. And I'm confident that we will." Pool was then ushered out at 7:15pm just as POTUS took the first question. A man was asking about the poor getting poorer... Pool holding before open press remarks. Some color from the room: The room was set up with two long wooden tables in the middle featuring various gourmet food stations, three tall candles spaced out evenly and baskets of red apples, herbs and copper bins. (Menu below) It was catered by Alice Waters. Two other tables set up perpendicular had bottles of wine and glass bottles of water. There were wooden baskets of red apples on the floor around the tables. Guests sat on wooden, backless benches facing a podium and a tan curtain, behind from which POTUS emerged. One guest approached pool, which was seated in more p and said their phones had been confiscated and that the food wasn't that great. Menu, courtesy of CBS's Josh Gross, who took a turn around the tables: Fish tartare a la japonaise Boudin blanc Warm chanterelles on grilled toast Fall tomato salad with homemade mozzarella Fresh cheese with baked fig Eggplant tagine with couscous Duck confit with herb and frisee salad Corncakes with mint and chive Prosciutto and almonds Carol Lee The Wall Street Journal
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