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From: "Nelson, Colleen" >
Date: August 15, 2016 at 7:03:20 PM EDT
Subject: Travel Pool Report #6 -- fundraiser remarks
A bit of color from the fundraiser and highlights from the president's remarks:
The Goldbergs' home was perched high atop a hill, with gorgeous views of the water in the distance. Tonight's event was held outdoors with the temperature hovering around 80 degrees. Guests were seated at round tables under a white tent. Carol Goldberg introduced the president, offering effusive praise.
Obama looked vacation casual, donning a button-down shirt and khaki pants. He opened with a standard summation of his presidency, touting all the progress that's been made but noting that more work remains to be done. He ticked off the challenges that the country is facing, from climate change to violence around the world and then quickly segued into making the case for Clinton.
"Given the rapidity of change, the pace of change that's taken place, it is absolutely critical that we have a capable, visionary, hardworking, diligent, smart, tenacious leader in the Oval Office, and that's Hillary Clinton," Obama said. "That's who she is."
"This is somebody who I know and who I have worked alongside for many years," the president said.
"I'm a Democrat, so it's fair to say that whoever the Democratic nominee was, I would want to get behind them," Obama said. "But I don't display the kinds of enthusiasm and energy and commitment to Hillary candidacy just because of the fact we belong to the same political party."
"When I say that she knows what she's talking about, it's because I have seen her do the work," Obama said.
The president said you don't know ahead of time how you're going to do as president.
"Until you see at that desk and you're making life and death decisions, and you're deploying young men and women to war, or you're having to avert a crisis that could affect mills or in some cases billions of lives, you don't know how you're going to respond," Obama said.
"I will tell you that I have as good a guess when it comes to how Hillary would respond .as I would with anybody because I've seen her under really tough pressure situations," he said.
Obama spoke of Clinton's passion for helping ensure that people in this country can get a hand up.
"She's not always the flashiest; she's not always the person who's going to give you the big stem-winder," Obama said. "But she is the person who's going to do the work."
"She hasn't just talked the talk - she's walked the walk for decades," the president added.
"I know this is not an audience where I need to make a hard sell," Obama said. "To some degree, I had you at hello when it comes to voting for Hillary."
The president urged Democrats to feel a sense of urgency about this election and to finish the job of electing Clinton.
"Frankly I'm tired of talking about her opponent," Obama said. "I don't have to make the case against her opponent because every time he talks, he makes the case against his own candidacy."
He noted that it has been an unpredictable election season and said: "If we are not running scared until the day after the election, we are going to be making a grave mistake."
Obama said Democrats have a tendency to alternate between freak-out mode and complacency, and he urged the crowd to veer somewhere in between the two extremes.
"We are still going to have to fight what has been an unrelenting negative campaign against her that has made a dent in the opinion of people even who are inclined to vote for her," Obama said in describing Clinton's critics.
"We've got be aggressive in our campaign for 80 days, and that's not a lot," he said.
(** For those who are scoring at home, the election is 84 days away.** )
He said if Democrats are not willing to invest 80 days, "then shame on us."
He told the group, "we've got work to do," adding that he doesn't want to hear any excuses.
And with that, the president agreed to take a few questions, and the pool was ushered out.
Colleen McCain Nelson
The Wall Street Journal