White House routine: One day, six fundraisers

Neil Munro White House Correspondent
Font Size:

President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden managed to hold six fundraisers on Thursday, collecting several million dollars for Democrats’ 2012 campaigns.

At each fundraiser the president, the first lady and the vice president all portrayed Obama as a heroic defender of middle-class America beset by heartless Republicans.

The Republican’ “philosophy is simple: We are better off when everybody is left to fend for themselves, everybody makes their own rules, a few do very well at the top and everybody else is struggling to get by,” Obama told his audience at the ultra-posh Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Florida.

“If you’re willing to keep pushing with me, if you’re willing to keep struggling with me, if you’re continuing to reach out for that vision of America that we all share, I promise you change will come,” Obama told his 1,000 Biltmore donors, who paid $500 or $1,000 per seat.

“We are about promoting the private sector. They are about protecting the privileged sector,” Biden told another 200-person audience at another Biltmore Hotel, this one in Providence, Rhode Island. “We have fundamentally different views on job creation … [but] these guys just don’t get it,” he told the attendees, some of whom were paying $20,000 or more for a seat at the joint fundraiser for the Rhode Island Democratic State Committee and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse.

“Will we be a country where opportunity is limited to the few at the top? Or will we be a place where if you work hard, you can get ahead, no matter who you are or how you started out?” the first lady asked her audience gathered at the Westin Hotel in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio.

Unsurprisingly, all three also lauded Obama.

“What led me to run in the first place was the recognition that for too many families, the middle-class idea, the American Dream was slipping away,” Obama told donors gathered at an pricey private home in Coral Gables. “I’m going to need is all of you sustaining that same sense of hope and vision for the future that led you to get involved in that campaign back in 2008. … If you do that, we can’t lose,” he said.

“See, when it comes to the people he meets, Barack has a memory like a steel trap,” the first lady told her Cincinnati audience. “He might not remember your name, but if he’s had a few minutes and a decent conversation with you, he will never forget your story.”

Obama “is also one smart … son of a gun,” said Biden.

And two out of three managed to mix in a little self-pity.

Every day, Barack Obama carries “our collection of struggles and hopes. … That is where your President gets his passion,” the first lady told her mostly African-American audience at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage. “And that is why, even in the hardest moments, when it seems like all is lost, Barack Obama never loses sight of the end goal.”

“We’ve made sure to do everything we can to dig ourselves out of this incredible hole that I inherited,” the president said at the Orlando home of Dallas Mavericks player Vince Carter.

“One of the things about being President is when things are going tough everybody looks to you and says, ‘why haven’t you fixed it yet?’ And that’s okay. That’s what you sign up for,” Obama told the 70 attendees at Carter’s house, who included several basketball players — Magic Johnson, Alonzo Mourning, Chris Paul and Steve Smith — as well as National Basketball Association commissioner Mark Stern and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.

Each of those 70 attendees paid $30,000 to attend the fundraiser, which was Obama’s 28th this year, and his 95th since declaring for re-election last year, according to a count by CBS Radio.

After leaving Carter’s house, Obama returned to the presidential aircraft and flew back to the White House.

Follow Neil on Twitter