President Obama told the guests at tonight's Democratic Party fundraiser in Studio City that his comments yesterday on completing his move into the yes column on same-sex marriage were "a logical extension of what America is supposed to be."
Obviously yesterday we made some news. But the truth is it was a logical extension of what America is supposed to be. It grew directly out of this difference in visions. Are we a country that includes everybody and gives everybody a shot and treats everybody fairly and is that going to make us stronger. Are we welcoming to immigrants? Are we welcoming to people who aren’t like us, does that make us stronger? I believe it does. So that’s what’s at stake.
The fundraiser took place under a tent on the basketball court at actor George Clooney's home in the Fryman Canyon section of Studio City. Attendees included Clooney's girlfriend Stacy Kiebler, Robert Downey Jr., Diane Von Furstenberg, Trina Turk, Barbra Streisand, James Brolin, Tobey Maguire, Billy Crystal, Jack Black, Salma Hayek and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Rep. Howard Berman, as I reported earlier, came with Obama from Burbank Airport.
Guests arrived at the top of Clooney's driveway in golf carts from the street below. Reporters were not allowed in until after Clooney and co-host Jeffrey Katzenberg spoke, and Obama came on at 7:27 p.m. The president spoke for 19 minutes.
"I want to thank Clooney for letting us use his basketball court. This man has been talking smack about his basketball game, ever since I've known him."
"We raised a lot of money because everybody loves George. They like me, they love him. And rightfully so. Not only is he an unbelievable actor, but he is one of those rare individuals who is at ease with everybody, he seems to occupy a constant state of grace, and uses his extraordinary talents on behalf of something truly important."
“We’re not finished. We have a lot more work. As we look forward to the next campaign, the choice between the path I’ve set for this country and that of my opponent could not be starker and the stakes couldn’t be higher.”
“They have a different vision about how America works. See I think we work best when we are all in it together, when we’ve all got a stake in each other.”
He joked that he has aged.
“People have comment on the fact I’ve got gray hair now. There was a blog post about look how wrinkly Obama is getting. [Laughter]. Sort of distressing. George doesn’t have to go through these things.”
“The other side has got a different view, their attitude is you’re on your own. If you’re a kid born in a poor neighborhood in LA, tough luck, you’re on your own. if you’re a senior citizen who because of bad luck got laid off or your company ended up dissolving without your pension being vested, tough luck, you didn’t plan well enough. That’s not the America I believe in. That’s not the America you believe in.”
“I will just close by saying this is going to be harder than it was the last time. This is going to be harder than it was last time, not only because I’m older and grayer and your hope posters are dog-eared. 2008 in some ways was lightening in a bottle. That’s not going to be replicated and we shouldn’t expect it to. I’ve been president for three and a half years but part of the reason it’s going to be harder is because folks are still hurting out there and those frustrations with Washington and with the nonsense they see on the news is making them more cynical than they were in 2008. So we’re going to have to fight against cynicism and the belief maybe things can’t happen and maybe the game is rigged, what’s the point? That’s what we’re going to be fighting against this time. That means we’re going to have to work harder, that means we’re going to have to be more determined, that means that passion that we brought to bear in 2008 is going to have to express itself maybe not in such flashy form . It’s going to have to be steady but we’re going to have to keep those fires burning all the way through November and beyond because I’m not interesting in just winning the election. I’m interested in making sure we can finish what we started in 2008.”
* Good line by Clooney: "We have Iron Man, Spider-Man and Batman in the room. We should let the Secret Service take the night off." THR