From ABC News' Sunlen Miller:
Kicking off a fundraising swing that will bring him to six fundraisers in 48 hours in California, President Obama attended two fundraisers in San Francisco this evening.
“Some of you are involved in start-ups,” Obama joked to the Silicon Valley crowd at the first fundraiser at the home of Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.com, “well I was a startup, just not so long ago.”
But, the president noted that the start-up quality of his candidacy is no longer and that the spirit of 2008 can’t be recreated so easily – especially when people are frustrated with some of the decisions he’s made over the last two years in the White House.
“Your friends come and you say ‘oh Obama’s changed. I used to be so excited. I still have a poster.’ You know sometimes I get frustrated,” Mr. Obama said, “There are times where I am just so burdened by the fact that there are still so many folks out there that we haven’t gotten the help they need. And so I understand how you guys feel. But we knew this wouldn’t be easy.”
Perhaps talking to the more liberal parts of the California crowd directly Obama said that it’s easy to criticize compromises made in DC from afar, or say they could do better.
“Everyone’s a critic,” he quipped, “Everyone likes change in the abstract, but change in the concrete is hard. It’s tough.”
By way of example the president said that some like to comment how health care could have gotten past quicker. Someone in the audience yelled “single-payer.”
“See there: case and point, I knew open up this can of worms. This is a big complicated messy democracy. Change is not simple.”
The president said that those that were saying that the 2008 campaign was easy, weren’t on the campaign though, making the point that this time around they are ready for a rough road ahead.
“People act like the campaign was easy, they weren’t on the campaign. They all say ‘Obama he ran such a perfect campaign it was so smooth,’ what campaign we’re you on? This is hard.”
Former campaign manager and now White House advisor David Plouffe in remarks before the president admitted that this campaign will be different and a hard road ahead.
“We better assume that it’s going to be closer than the last one,” Plouffe said at the Nob Hill Masonic Center, “it could come down to a vote or two in each precinct.”
The cash raised from the two events tonight will go into the Obama Victory Fund --the joint account of the DNC and OFA, with tickets ranging from $25 to $35,800. Earlier in the day the president held a town hall at Facebook, which he joked about this evening.
“I was happy to find out that my Facebook page was doing pretty well,” he said, “I’ve got 19 million friends. Which only puts me half a million friends behind Sponge Bob Squarepants. So that’s something to aspire to, keep up with Spongebob.”