Thurs. Fundraiser at St. Regis interrupted by protest song calling for freeing of Pfc. Manning.
“Each of us brought you $5,000
It takes a lot of Benjamins to run a campaign
I paid my dues, where’s our change?”
Motorcade left the Intercontinental Hotel at 9 am local and arrived at the St. Regis for President Obama’s last Bay area fundraiser.
A couple dozen demonstrators are on a corner across the street from the hotel. They have signs – “Yes We Cannabis” and “Protect Marijuana Patients Rights” – and are chanting something your pooler couldn’t make out. One of them also has sign of Uncle Sam’s face with “LIAR” written on his hat.
About 200 donors were at the breakfast fundraiser, per a Democratic official.
Your pooler counted 15 tables with 10 chairs each, however, and not all tables were full, including one in the back where Valerie Jarrett, Jay Carney and Patrick Gaspard sat with two other people.
Tickets are $35,800 each. The money goes to The Victory Fund, a joint account of the Obama campaign and the DNC. $5,000 goes to the campaign, and $30,800 goes to DNC.
POTUS was introduced by Nancy Pelosi.
“We can thank him for bringing hope where there was despair for some,” Ms. Pelosi said. POTUS, she said, was a job creator from the start.
“His reelection is absolutely essential to our country’s future,” Ms. Pelosi said.
POTUS spoke with a handheld mic. “I’ll admit I sort of slept in,” POTUS said.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Lt Gov. Gavin Newsom was seated front, former Mayor Willie Brown, “no matter how hard I try, Willie is still better dressed than me – although I’m still getting used to the no mustache thing.”
POTUS called Ms. Pelosi one of the greatest speakers in history. He started to launch into his stump speech when Ms. Pelosi interrupted to say Gov. Jerry Brown had been there.
Mr. Obama was in the middle of his remarks when a woman in a white suit stood up and said, Mr. President we wrote you a song. POTUS tried to get her to wait until later, but she persisted and the table of 10 broke into a song that pointed out they’d just spent $5,000 donating to his campaign and went on to protest the treatment of Pfc. Bradley Manning.
The woman stayed standing as they sang. Mr. Obama looked to Ms. Pelosi and asked, Nancy did you do this? Ms. Pelosi had a look on her face, as she stared at the singing group, that definitely said she did not.
The song – will send quotes after transcribe – talked about Bradley Manning and how he is “alone in a cell…”
The 10 singers then passed around 8.5×11 signs that said “Free Bradley Manning” or had a photo of him.
Then the woman in the white suit stripped off her jacket to reveal a black T-shirt that said Free Bradley Manning, with an image of him.
“We paid our dues. Where’s our change?” they sang.
USSS and WH staff had moved near the table at this point. The woman was escorted out. Two others left on their own. (The rest stayed and applauded at the end of POTUS’s speech.)
“That was a nice song,” a displeased Mr. Obama said.
“Now where was I?” POTUS asked.
As was indicated by that song, “Over the last 2 and a half years, change turned out to be tougher than we expected,” POTUS said.
Dear Mr. President we honor you today sir
Each of us brought you $5,000
It takes a lot of Benjamins to run a campaign
I paid my dues, where’s our change?
We’ll vote for you in 2012, yes that’s true
Look at the Republicans – what else can we do
Even though we don’t know if we’ll retain our liberties
In what you seem content to call a free society
Yes it’s true that Terry Jones is legally free
To burn a people’s holy book in shameful effigy
But at another location in this country
Alone in a 6×12 cell sits Bradley
23 hours a day is night
The 5th and 8th Amendments say this kind of thing ain’t right
We paid our dues, where’s our change?
One of the singers gave your pooler the lyrics, written out on the back of the menu for the fundraiser. It includes the website freshjuiceparty.com
Also, on POTUS – your pooler would say he took the song in stride and at first he didn’t seem to realize it was a protest song.
In other news, the menu included scrambled organic Petaluma farmed eggs, chicked apple sausages, organic fingerling potatoes; fruit and berries; miniature danishes and Matzo crackers.
Motorcade is rolling to the airport at 10 am local.
Motorcade arrived at airport around 10:20 am local.
Wheels up to Reno shortly.
Also on the protest song, POTUS had been talking about how he needed the group’s energy like he had in 2008. After the song he quipped, “Now there’s an example of creativity…”