At his second fundraiser of the evening in Los Angeles on Sunday, President Obama told a group of donors that the last days of his re-election campaign are not about “clinging on to an office. It’s not about power. It’s not about perks. It’s not about winning. It’s about can we sustain over the next 30 days and then over the next four years … the sense that there’s something about this country that allows everybody to get a fair shot.”
Obama made his remarks to about 100 donors over dim sum on the 24th floor of the Ritz Carlton. Those in the audience included George Clooney, “Family Guy” creator and new Oscars host Seth MacFarlane and film producer Harvey Weinstein.
Comparing 2008 to 2012, he said it was “kind of cool to be an Obama supporter” four years ago. Some who supported him early could “go around saying I told you so.” But now, as then, “there are times you have to grind it out.”
Obama also spoke about a date he had with his wife Saturday night to make up for having to debate Mitt Romney on their wedding anniversary.
“The actual anniversary date was not that romantic. There was some speculation as to whether this had an impact on my performance,” Obama said. “But I did make it up to her on Saturday.” In a private room at a restaurant he did not name, Obama said they were served by a “wonderful young waiter,” who was “professional, very unobtrusive,” and who put up with them, he said, because they were “milking it for all that it was worth because we don’t get out that often.”
At the end of the meal, Obama recalled, the waiter thanked him, telling the president that he saved his mother’s life. She’d had a stroke, Obama said, but didn’t qualify for Medicare. Because of the Affordable Care Act, she got the coverage she needed “that allows her to take her medicines and is keeping her alive.”
Obama said it is easy to “get caught up in the sport of politics,” but that he’s in it for stories like the one he heard from the young waiter.
“There are times during the course of a presidency when you are so focused on policy and Congress and data and analysis. And yet one of the wonderful things about the presidency is that at least once a day you’re reminded, that’s why you do it,” he said.
Wrapping up he said, “We’re not finished yet. And I’m a big believer in closing the deal.”
“You will see me working as hard as I’ve ever worked for the next three years” he continued, before correcting himself – “the next 30 days. It will seem like 3 years. And then you’ll see me working as hard as I ever had for the next four years.”