Election 2020

Obama: Dems Need to Find Middle Ground Between Campaign 'Freak-Out' and Overconfidence

Obama: Dems Need to Find Middle Ground Between Campaign 'Freak-Out' and Overconfidence
(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

President Obama took a break from his golf-heavy Martha’s Vineyard vacation to fundraise for Hillary Clinton in Massachusetts on Monday evening, where he declared he’s just tired of talking Trump.

About 60 people paid $10,000 a pop to the Hillary Victory Fund at the private home in Chilmark, Mass.

“Although Michelle is very strict about me actually taking a vacation when I get a vacation, she gave me a special dispensation for this evening because she understands, just as all of you understand, how important this is,” Obama told his audience.

The president called it “absolutely critical that we have a capable, visionary, hardworking, diligent, smart, tenacious leader in the Oval Office.”

“And that’s Hillary Clinton,” he added. “That’s who she is.”

Obama said he wasn’t going to “belabor” everything Hillary and others said at the Democratic National Convention, but “I’m a Democrat, and so it’s fair to say that whoever the Democratic nominee was I would want to get behind them.”

“But I don’t display the kinds of enthusiasm and energy and commitment to Hillary’s candidacy just because of the fact that we belong to the same political party,” he said. “…Now, she’s not always the flashiest. She’s not always the person who’s going to give you the big stem-winder. But she is the person who’s going to do the work.”

“So look, I know this is not an audience where I need to make a hard sell. To some degree, I had you at ‘hello’ when it comes to voting for Hillary. What I do want to emphasize is needing a sense of urgency and finishing the job of getting her elected. And you notice I haven’t said much about her opponent. Frankly, I’m tired of talking about her opponent. I don’t have to make the case against her opponent because every time he talks he makes the case against his own candidacy.”

Obama added “this has been an unpredictable election season, but — not only because of anxieties and concerns that the American people have, but also because of the changing nature of the media and voting patterns.”

“There’s still a lot of uncertainty out there. And if we are not running scared until the day after the election, we are going to be making a grave mistake,” he said. “And Democrats are interesting creatures. We tend to veer from full-fledged freak-out, and ‘the world is ending and everything is terrible,’ which — I had conversations with some of you about three months ago, and it was — the world was ending to, ‘it’s going to be fine’ and ‘who do you think she’s going to appoint for Commerce Secretary.’ And what I’d like us to do is veer somewhere in between those two extremes.”

“If we do our job, then Hillary will be elected President of the United States. But if we do not do our jobs, then it’s still possible for her to lose. And when I say ‘do our jobs,’ what I mean is we are going to have to continue to be engaged. We are going to continue to have to write checks. We are going to continue to have to make phone calls, and rally people behind her candidacy. We are still going to have to fight what has been a unrelenting negative campaign against her that has made a dent in the opinion of people even who are inclined to vote for her.”

The president stressed that campaigning must be “aggressive” from now until Election Day.

“And I don’t want to hear it about whether ‘I’m not sufficiently inspired,’ or ‘we’ve got this in the bag,’ or ‘I’ve got other things to do,'” Obama added. “You’ve got to work for 80 days.”

Join the conversation as a VIP Member