President Obama's day: Full on fundraising

McClatchy Washington BureauMay 8, 2014 

President Barack Obama embarks this morning on a full day of fundraising -- packing in four events in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Jose as he warns Democrats to show up at the polls in November -- or face Republican majorities in the House and Senate.

"My main message to all of you is feel a sense of urgency about this election," Obama said Wednesday night at a fundraiser at the Bel Air home of Disney chairman Alan Horn. "This is my last campaign, and I'm going to put everything I've got into it, but I need you to feel that this is just as important -- because we can't afford to wait until 2016."

He warned those sitting out the midterm election for the presidential race in 2016 that "nothing is going to happen magically, by the way, that changes in 2016 if we still have the same kind of voting patterns and the same dysfunction that we've got right now in Congress. We'll be stymied all over again."

Obama joked that his schedule has him in the dog house back at the White House, but that he plans to do "everything I can" to raise money for the November election in which Republicans hope to take control of the Senate.

"I'm in trouble at home," Obama said. "And the reason is, is because I told Michelle back in 2012 I had run my last campaign, but a couple months ago, I had to let her in on a secret, and that is, 'Honey, I got one more campaign I got to run. I need to make sure we continue to have a Democratic Senate, and I need a Democratic House of Representatives in Washington. And I'm going to do everything I can to make that happen."

Obama touted progress under his administration, citing the creation of jobs and a rebounding financial system and housing market.

"Despite all that, despite ending two wars, despite the progress that we've made on issues that are important to everybody here, there’s still disquiet around the country," Obama said. "There’s an anxiety and sense of frustration. And the reason is, is because people understand that for all that we've done, the challenges out there remain daunting and we have a Washington that's not working."

He attributed the gridlock to a "fundamental difference in what we as Democrats believe and what this particular brand of Republicans that we’ve got in Congress believes."

And he said Republican opposition has created cynicism, contending that since he was elected Republicans have flibustered "about 500 pieces of legislation."

That leaves Americans believing "well, nothing works," Obama said as he pressed against what he called his party's "congenital" problem -- that Democrats don't tend to vote during midterm elections.

"Our voters are younger, they’re more likely to be minority," he said. "And because they’re more likely to be struggling, they’re not always paying attention when the presidential candidate isn't on the ballot.

"We have to break out of that cycle," he said to a crowd that included Barbra Streisand, James Brolin and Jeffrey Katzenberg.

Obama's first event today at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles is a closed press roundtable for the Democratic National Committee. He then leaves for San Diego where he'll deliver remarks and answer questions at a fundraiser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. And then it's San Jose, where he'll participate in a second DNC roundtable. and deliver remarks at a DNC reception.

He was also awarded the U.S.C. Shoah Foundation's Ambassador for Humanity Award by Steven Spielberg at a dinner Wednesday night.

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