President Obama told a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fundraiser in L.A. last night that the country is “not going to make good choices unless we break out of this cycle in which dysfunction breeds cynicism, and cynicism then breeds more dysfunction.”
“I’m in trouble at home. 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,” he quipped to a well-heeled audience including Barbra Streisand, James Brolin and Jeffrey Katzenberg. “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 lamented that “despite the progress that we’ve made on issues that are important to everybody here, there’s still disquiet around the country.”
He talked up the minimum wage effort at the Bel Air home of Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn, where ticket prices ranged from $10,000 to $32,400.
“And we can debate a lot about whether the Senate rules need to be changed and are there problems with our media and campaign finance and there are a whole bunch of structural reasons why Washington isn’t working as well as it should. But the principal reason is that there is just a fundamental difference in what we as Democrats believe and what this particular brand of Republicans that we’ve got in Congress believes,” he said.
“…And the congenital problem that Democrats have is in midterms especially, we don’t vote. Our voters are younger, they’re more likely to be minority. And because they’re more likely to be struggling, they’re not always paying attention when the president — presidential candidate isn’t on the ballot. And so you’ve got a self-fulfilling prophecy — people who have the most at stake in a government that works opt out of the system; those who don’t believe that government can do anything are empowered; gridlock reigns and we get this downward spiral of even more cynicism and more dysfunction.”
The president tried to encourage his donors to have “a sense of urgency” about this election.
“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. And 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 continued.
“The good news is we’ve got public opinion on our side if people actually turn out — on every issue. On minimum wage, on pay equity, on clean energy, on immigration reform — there’s not an issue in which we do not possess a majority in this country. But it has to manifest itself during election time, and especially during midterms.”