Latest from West Coast (and President Obama had some more words for Republicans – click and read)


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

LGBT issues.

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

than Washington.

“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


Lesley Clark

White House Correspondent

McClatchy Newspapers