In his first foray into fundraising since taking office, President Obama offered up a strong critique of the way Washington works -- a city he jokingly called the “hall of mirrors” -- and overall, the way that progress in the economy is judged inside the beltway.
“I know it can be easy, especially in Washington, to get caught up in the day-to-day chatter on cable television, to be distracted by the petty and the trivial, and to fall in the trap of keeping score of who’s up and who’s down. There will be days where we may be declared winners and there will be days where the umpires say, ‘oh, they lost that one.’ There will be days where the markets go up and there will be days when the markets go down. But you and I, we measure our economy recovery in different ways.”
The president said his barometer is how many people are put back to work, how many American people are helped and what kind of foundation is built into the economy as he headlined dual DNC fundraisers this evening in Washington, D.C. -– a $30,400/couple fundraiser at the national Women in the Arts Museum in D.C., and a lower priced ticket fundraiser (from $100 to $1,000) at the Warner Theater.
The president touted the process that his administration has made in the first months in office, making the case for the economic stimulus package and his massive $3.6 trillion budget currently being negotiated in Congress.
“It's more than just a budget, it’s a blueprint for our economic future,” the president said. “It’s a vision of what the Democratic party stands for.”
The president said that “even the most pessimistic estimates” show that the budget would have $2 trillion in deficit deductions over the next decade.
“There are those who will tell you that all this is too much and the plans in this budget are just too ambitious to enact,” the president said of the criticisms, “but we know that the challenges we face are too large to ignore.”
To those critics –- Obama added at the second fundraiser to “show me your budget," and "show me your ideas" if they are going to be critical of his.
Echoing themes from the campaign trail, Obama said the "snipping" in Washington will continue but that the road he hopes to lead the country on will be a more unified path.
“We know the road to our future is going to be long. We’re going to hit our share of bumps and setbacks before it ends. We know that there’s going to be a lot snipping. We know that, that’s how this town works. But we also know this; we’ll only get there if we travel down this road as one nation, one people.”
- Sunlen Miller