Latest notes from Chicago where the President is ……. guess!

Subject: Travel pool report #4 – fundraiser at Hilton Chicago


There was no news in a 16-minute speech that touched on early childhood education, gun control and climate change. Please check quotes against the transcript.

At 6:28 p.m., the pool was escorted to the small ballroom at the Hilton Chicago where the fundraiser was held. Crystal chandeliers hung from the ceiling, and a large American flag served as the backdrop behind the podium. The pool was kept at the back of the room, which was set up with cocktail tables, and the pool had a very limited view.

Details about the event, including some of the notable attendees, are at the bottom of this report.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) introduced the president. At 6:35 p.m., Obama took the stage.

The president pointed out Nancy Pelosi in the room, praising her work, and then led the crowd in singing “Happy Birthday” to Rep. Steve Israel, who heads up the DCCC.

Obama said his remarks would be relatively brief because the Blackhawks are playing Game 7 tonight.

“Our work is not yet done,” he said.While the headlines report that the economy is picking up steam, “there are people all across this country who are still hurting,” he said. Obama said the country needs to rally around the concept if you work hard, you can succeed.

“We know the answers to so many of our challenges,” Obama said.

The president called for invesments in early childhood education, common-sense gun laws and stepped-up efforts to address climate change.

“If we continue to make the investments, nobody has the know-how and the scientific skill to create the kinds of break-throughs that deal with climate change,” he said.

Obama lamented the logjam in Washington.

“We’ve got a politics that’s stuck right now,” he said. “The reason it’s stuck is because people spend more time thinking about the next election than they do the next generation.”

He said he wants to work with Republicans who don’t think compromise is a dirty word. No party has a monopoly on wisdom, he said.

Obama said that if he confronts obstructionism for the sake obstructionism day in and day out and finds what appears to be an interest only in scoring political points, then he’s got to figure out a way to work around that.

“One way to do that is to have a Democratic House of Representatives,” Obama said.

Washington is not permanently broken, he said. “It can be fixed.”

At 6:57 p.m., the motorcade departed the Hilton and headed to the second fundraiser, arriving at 7 p.m. The pool is now holding outside the event.




Background from a DCCC official:


· President Obama is raising money for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee tonight at two events in Chicago – a reception at the Chicago Hilton and a dinner at the home of Bettylu and Paul Saltzman. This is the third fundraiser President Obama has done for the DCCC in the 2014 cycle.


· A poll released last week by Washington Post/ABC News shows Democrats leading the congressional generic ballot by 8 points, 48 percent to 40 percent.


Hilton Reception:


· We expect about 150 attendees, including Leader Nancy Pelosi, Chairman Steve Israel, Whip Steny Hoyer, Senator Dick Durbin and Mayor Rahm Emanuel.


· Members of the delegation who are attending include: Congresswoman Cheri Bustos, Congresswoman Robin Kelly, Congressman Bill Foster, Congressman Bobby Rush, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky.


· Ticket prices ranged from $1,000 per person to $5,000 per couple.


Dinner at the home of Bettylu and Paul Saltzman:


· We expect about 70 attendees, including Leader Pelosi, Chairman Israel, Whip Hoyer and Bill Daley.


· Members of Congress who are attending include: Congressman Sandy Levin and Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky.


· Ticket prices ranged from $10,000 per person or $32,400 per couple.


Latest DCCC vs. NRCC fundraising


· Despite being in the minority, the DCCC outraised the NRCC again in April and will have $3.9 M cash advantage over the NRCC (cash-on-hand minus debt).


· The DCCC outraised the NRCC in April ($5.4M to $5.1M), has less debt ($4.1M v. $6.4M) and more cash-on-hand ($10.4M to $8.7M).


· This was the best-ever month of April for online fundraising, bringing in $1.4 million online from grassroots donors with an average donation of $22.







Colleen McCain Nelson


The Wall Street Journal