- The White House
- Sort of like this, though this particular waving-from-the-limo actually took place in Kansas.
After the Boeing speech, the fund raisers. Here's how they went, according to the White House Pool reports:
Marine One landed at Seattle landing zone at 1:44. Twenty-minute ride to home of Jeff and Susan Brotman (he founded Costco) in Medina, Washington. The house, by the way, is something, and more than one pooler has noted that it resembles the Edward Cullen home in Twilight.
Lots of people lined the road, and a couple of Ron Paul signs. Pool is holding in the garage, alas. But we have cookies.
Here's background on today's fundraisers.
From a campaign official: On Friday, President Obama will attend a fundraising luncheon with 65 people at the home of Jeff and Susan Brotman in Medina, WA. Jeff is the chairman and co-founder of Costco. Tickets for this event cost $17,900 per person.
After the luncheon, the President will deliver remarks at a fundraising reception attended by 450 at the Westin Bellevue in Bellevue, WA, featuring a musical performance by Head and the Heart.
Tickets for the reception start at $1,000. Proceeds for both events will go to Obama Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee authorized by Obama for America and the Democratic National Committee.
Obama remarks at Brotman residence: Pool was ushered in around 5:35, into a great room where donors sat and stood surrounded by artwork that would look at home in MOMA. Bill Gates stood in front of a huge fireplace. Ceilings looked to be at least two stories, maybe three. Giant floor-to-ceiling windows looked out at trees and water.
These are highlights. Check against transcript.
First Potus thanked “Jeff and Susan for opening up their extraordinary home. It’s wonderful to be back in the pacific northwest.” He then claimed Seattle roots but pooler couldn’t hear quite how he came about that.
Then “We’ve gone through the toughest three years…since the great depression.” Talked about how poorly the economy was doing when he took office. “obviously a lot of pain and a lot of hardship for people for a long time and that’s not over. “
Said “People still struggling to get by. At the same time were starting to see the incredible resilience of the American people and the American economy.
He referenced Gates three times during his remarks.
Said country has seen “the highest manufacturing job growth since the 1990s.” But said “there’s a sense that we may have gotten through the heaviest squalls.”
Talked about climate change, and the need to do more on energy, but said the country should also not ignore the “low-hanging fruit.”
“We need to get the programs to get the low hanging fruit to make things more energy efficient,” and cited Japan.
Another Gates mention. “Ultimately Bill Gates is right, what we need to ultimately solve the problem is a massive technological breakthrough,” but until that happens, he said, that could be done in the interim.
Talked about ending the war in Iraq and beginning the drawdown in Afghanistan.
Said “There’s been times, lets face it, when some of you have said, ‘hmmm I’m not sure its working out..’”
“But if we sustain this effort in the face of huge political obstacles, not only would our economy come back but politics would align with ideals mutual responsibility.”
“Now this election is not gonna be as sexy as 2008. My hair is grayer. I’ve got a little dings and bruises, although you’re right, I can still sing.”
“But I have to tell you the stakes are so much higher…than in 2008. In 2008, there was unanimity…everybody recognized that change had to happen. I had a capable democratic opponent who could have won.”
“In this situation we’ve got fundamentally different visions on the direction the country should go. Never been as stark as it is now. “
“You’ve got a party that denies climate change even exists rather than debates how to address it.”
“You’ve got a party that when it comes to foreign policy only talks about military adventures but never debates” how to solve things through diplomacy.
“We’re going to have to work harder this time than we did last time. “
Third Gates reference. “If you agree with Mr. Gates here, that we have to have a balanced approach,” …”then all the marbles are right here.”
“My determination is even greater now than it was in 2008. “
After leaving the Brotman estate, Potus worked a ropeline at of K to 5 Medina Elementary kids who had been waiting for two hours—30 minutes of which was in the rain—to see him.
He emerged, to screams and cheers, from the Beast holding a rather pint-sized blue umbrella, before someone gave him a big black one.
"Hey guys you're all so wet!" He yelled. "You're so wet!"
"I wouldn't have had you stand out here if I knew it would be raining."
He shook hands and chatted with them for around 8 minutes, then got back in the motorcade.
We are now headed for the Westin Bellevue, for next fundraiser.
President Obama arrived at the Westin around 3:45pm local. About an hour later he took to the stage in a ballroom filled with about 30 round tables of ten or so people.
Like last night’s open-press fundraiser, Mr. Obama was introduced here by a small business owner not a high-dollar contributor as at the other ones. Peter Aaron, owner of the Elliott Bay Book Company. Mr. Aaron said his bookstore struggled to stay open during the economic crisis but was able to do so because of a loan he was able to get because of Mr. Obama’s policies.
Mr. Aaron also mused about what it’s like when “someone almost no one knows introduces a man everyone knows.” He decided everyone there knows him because he’s pursuing the same goals as they are.
Mr. Obama spoke for about 25 minutes. The crowd rose to its feet when he entered. A little girl stood on her chair with a sign that said “I’m 5 Obama’s Alive”
Mr. Obama pointed out Washington’s governor and lieutenant governor, as well as Mr. Aaron. “I love bookstores, so it was fun hearing how he’s coming back,” POTUS said.
“I’m here because not only do I need your help, but I’m here because your country needs your help,” Mr. Obama said.
Check quotes against transcript but here’s a summary of his speech, which was largely the same as his other fundraising remarks this week.
He told the donors the reason they worked hard in 2008 “was not because my election was pre-ordained.” (Barack Hussein Obama was not a shoo-in, he joked.)
He said they supported them because of a “shared vision” that doesn’t assume a few people at the top do very well and others don’t.
Mr. Obama talked about shared sacrifice and responsibility.
He asked the crowd to “think about what change looks like” – and reflected on his first three years in office: Lilly Ledbetter; student loan reforms; payroll tax cut for middle class; killed Osama bin Laden; end the war in Iraq; passed health care reform bill (this got huge applause and a standing ovation from most people in the room); raised fuel efficiency standards, auto bailout – “even when there were a bunch of politicians saying we should let Detroit go bankrupt.” He said because of that bailout GM is now back on top, cited the company reporting record profits this week.
Mr. Obama did not mention gay marriage while in the state to most recently legalize it. But he said of the repeal of don’t ask don’t tell that for the first time in history “it doesn’t matter who you love, you can still serve the country you love,” eliciting another standing ovation.
He drew the contrast with Republicans and what a GOP president would do: repeal health care reform, tax breaks for the wealthy and a general policy that says people are better off when “the most powerful can write their own rules.”
“In the United States of American we’re better together than we are on our own,” Mr. Obama said.
He detailed what he means by an economy that’s “built to last" ...
“I’m a chauvinist. I want America to have the best stuff,” he said. He said he doesn’t want to go to China and see better airports or better railways in Europe.
He proposed using half of OCO to reduce the debt and use the other half to “rebuild this nation.”
He pitched his Buffett Rule. “It has nothing to do with envy it has everything to do with math.”
Americans are rugged individualists, he said, “but we also recognize that for all of us to succeed we have to have an investment in each other’s success.”
He ended by pointing out to Democratic supporters the history of Republicans supporting policies that Dems like. He cited Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower to accentuate his point. And he noted that Republicans helped FDR pass the GI bill.
Mr. Obama said politics seems extremely divided, “sometimes irrational,” because that’s what gets attention in the media, but that he believes the US rises and falls as one nation. “And that’s what this election is all about,” he said.
Mr. Obama ended by saying how big change takes more than a single term and probably more than a single president.
Mr. Obama said he told them in 2008, “I may not be a perfect man and I will never be a perfect president.” But he’s worked hard for them every day he’s been in office.
Also, earlier at the first Seattle fundraiser Mr. Obama invoked the Bush-era tax cuts to frame his re-election argument, something he has not done on his money swing this week.
“The Bush tax cuts are going to expire at the end of this year, and whoever is president is going to shape what our tax policy is and how we reduce our deficits and how we maintain fiscal stability for the next 20 or 30 years,” Mr. Obama said.
Short motorcade ride back to helos, and a bumpy rainy helo back to Paine field. Its pouring at Paine and everyone on plane seems drenched. At 5:55 pst, air force one is taxiing.