Subject: WH travel pool report #15 – Kerry Washington + Shonda Rimes
Obama took the stage to applause, congratulating a “nice looking
crowd, you all got dressed up.”
After some joking around (see below), he segued into his traditional
fundraising remarks, saying the US has made “remarkable progress” in
the economy and socially, with end of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and other
But, he added, people across the country “still feel anxious.”
He attributed it to wages “flatlining” over the past few decades
and said the American dream seems out of range for some.
He again cited foreign crisies as a reason:
“Obviously people are concerned w some of the turmoil around the world.”
But he said “the conflict that probably makes people most discouraged
is the conflict they see in Washington.”
“No offenses, Scandal’s a great show, but it’s not necessarily
something we want to be living out.”
He said the reason DC isn’t working isn’t because both parties are
wrong, but that “the Republican Party has been taken over by people
who just don’t believe in government.”
He said Republicans “obfuscate and they bamboozle and sometimes don’t
say what’s true — that was a euphemism,”
he said, to laughter
He said most folks don’t have time to sort out the intricacies over
“Benghazi” or Obamacare.
He said the audience “can’t afford to be cynical.”
He called for more spending on roads and bridges.
“We know what to do, the problem is there’s no political will to get it done.”
He noted that some may have gotten so excited in 2008, that “you
thought ok, we elect Barack and that’s it.”
He reiterated his lament that during midterms, “people don’t even know
there’s an election,” and noted that Republicans tend to vote in
greater numbers than Democrats, resulting in “lo and behold were
surprised when John Boehner is Speaker of the House.”
“What happened to Nancy Pelosi? what happened is ya’ll didn’t vote,”
he said.”and that’s when all kinds of …. Stuff happened. That’s what
it was, stuff.”
“Sometimes in life as well as in politics, we don’t get 100 percent of
what we want right away,” he said, adding he doesn’t tell his
daughters when they hit an obstacle, “you should quit.”
He recalled the Civil War and how long it took to get the Civil Rights Act.
“At each juncture someone could’ve said, ‘this is too hard,’ ” he
said, adding nothing gets accomplished “by the cynics and the
“It’s those who are filled w hope that gets things done,” he said.
“I’ve got 2 years left in this presidency, I want to get a whole bunch
of stuff done.”
Obama spoke on a stage lined w US + Calif flags and band instruments
Rimes did the intro for Obama:” he’s been doing his job like a boss.”
Scandal star Kerry Washington introduced Shonda Rimes, as “my boss.”
Obama said “there were few people who worked harder” on his campaign
“She showed me her baby pictures, that is one cute baby,” Obama said.
He gave a giant shout out to singer Janelle Monae, joking she’s played
so often at the WH there should be a room named for her.
He also joked w her about her having a video of him trying to keep up
with Usher on the dance floor.
He said “she can blackmail me at any time,” he said of the video.
“I did not drop and split, but I did bust a move,” he said
We arrived shortly after 5 pm
Event is in the backyard w white umbrellas shading attendees from the
bright Calif sun.
They’re sitting on folding wooden chairs by a pool and cabana and a citrus tree
Spotted: DC celeb Debbie Wasserman schultz
Thanks to Isaac Dovere of Politico for some quote snagging
White House Correspondent