Obama keeps up birther joshing at Big Apple funder.
Pool was ushered into an ornate 18th floor conference room of the Waldorf at around 9 p.m., just as Sen. Charles Schumer of New York concluded his remarks. So all we could hear was “Barack H. Obama.”
Democratic Party officials say that there are 350 people here, including, we are told, Carmelo Anthony, a New York Knick.
Potus began speaking at around 9:10. He began with a grin, and a joke:
“My name is Barack Obama; I was born in Hawaii, I’m president of the United States, and I’m running for re-election. “
He hailed Schumer as the senior senator from New York, and then hailed the “far more attractive junior senator, Kirsten Gillibrand. “
No prepared remarks, he said, “partly because I’m among friends. “
For a second it seemed like he was about to do car-in-ditch when he said he inherited an economic crisis and because of the hard work of people like Gillibrand, we&hellip.”righted the ship.” A taste of the 2012 metaphor?
Then a more spirited and slightly longer reprise of the speech at the Corzine home earlier in the day.
“We put a couple of more women on the supreme court; Lord knows we need them.”
“We changed the financial aid system; we (had been) giving subsidies to banks and restricting the amount of help young people were getting.”
“We brought home 100,000 troops from Iraq.”
“We signed a nuclear reduction treaty with the Russians.”
“We made sure that anybody who wants to serve in the military can serve regardless of sexual orientation.”
“When we ran in 2008 I think all of us had a sense that America was at a crossroads.”
“We still have a lot of work to do. And that’s what this budget debate that will dominate&hellipWashington&hellipis all about.”
“This argument is not about numbers, it’s about values.”
“On one side you have folks who believe you can slash education funding &hellip..it’s a vision of a small America, of a shrunken America, where those of us who are lucky do great, and don’t have to do anything for others, we can pull up the ladder behind us.”
“And then there’s another vision that says we can live responsibly&hellipbut we can make sure the burdens are shared. “
“The reason we believe that is not out of charity. “
“We know when we see that elderly couple strolling through central park, holding hands, and they know they have the security of Medicare and Medicaid&hellip.’
“Some day I want me and Michelle strolling down Central Park. There’s going to come a time when I can go walking again.” (laughter)
“We can finally start doing something about climate change&hellip.we want the best roads and best airports because we’ve always had the best stuff. We want the fastest broadband lines and the highest graduation rates from college.”
“Don’t let folks fool you by saying this is about some dry numbers&hellip”
“I’m confident that vision of a big compassionate America is a vision that most of us share.”
“In 2008 I didn’t have all this gray hair. I was kind of fresh and new. Everybody had all these nice posters. It was cool to back Obama. Now I’m older, distinguished, that’s the word, distinguished, and we’ve had some setbacks, some things haven’t happened as fast as some people wanted&hellipI know &hellipI know some of those conversations some of you guys had. Oh, you know, he didn’t get the public option&hellipI wish the energy bill had passed&hellip”
“But&hellipwhen I stood that night in Grant Park, I didn’t say change you can have tomorrow&hellip.I said change you can believe it. “
Then it was off to the third fundraiser of the night, at Town Hall Theater.
News: Obama opened his remarks by addressing the birther matter. See below.
As the motorcade from the airport made its way into the Upper East Side, onlookers lined many blocks of East 61st Street and 5th Avenue, many with cameras but no signs. We arrived at the Fifth Avenue apartment of former Gov. Jon Corzine shortly after 6 p.m.
Corzine spoke briefly saying this was an opportunity “for a washed up politician to introduce the best politician in America.”
POTUS used a handheld microphone to speak to tables in two rooms.The assembled were seated and in the middle of eating dinner when he arrived.
Obama began by addressing the news of the day.
“Today was a fun day,” he began. “Nobody checked my ID at the door.”
“But it was also a serious day because part of what happened this morning was me trying to remind the press and trying to remind both parties that what we do in politics is not a reality show. It’s serious.”
He then spoke of the 10 letters he reads each day from the public. He said some are heart wrenching and “almost all of them are inspiring.” From people doing everything right and looking after their families and participating in their communities. “And yet are worried, they’re worried about the direction of our county. They’re worried about their specific circumstances,” as well, he said. Sometimes letter is from a child worried because a parent has lost a job, or from families worried about losing their homes. Or small businesses “who have put their heart and soul and everything they own into something” and now they are “not sure they are going to make it.”
“Most of all, I think what you find are people who are worried about the future of the American dream.”
“Everybody here, almost by definition, has lived out that American dream. We have been extraordinarily blessed by a country that has provided more opportunity to more people than any in history.”
“The question is will that same story be told by our children, our grandchildren, our great-grandchildren.”
A second pool report will be filed shortly with the rest of his remarks, which were not newsy.
Additionally, a Democratic Party official gives this background on the three events this evening:
All three funders will support the Obama Victory Fund, a joint account of the DNC and the reelection campaign. The first event here was 60 people. The second event at the Waldorf Astoria will be about 350 people. The final event at Town Hall, hosted by Gen44, will be 1,300 people.
The events were of similar size as events two weeks ago in Chicago, the official said. If you are looking for estimates of the amount to be raised, it was reported that those events raised $2 million to $3 million.