President Obama spoke last night at a $40,000-a-head campaign fundraising dinner at the NoMad Hotel in Manhattan. According to pool reports:
The 60 folks there were 3:4 male and those identified included Roger Altman, the Clinton-era deputy Treasury secretary and investment banker, Robert Wolf, recently departed from UBS, and Marc Lasry, the billionaire hedge fund manager. (Thanks to NYT‘s Jackie Calmes.)…
Obama stated his belief that the Euro currency system will not “unravel”:
"We're gonna have some continued headwinds over the next several months. Europe is still a challenge and people in this room who have business in Europe understand that," he said. "I don't think ultimately that the Europeans will let the Euro unravel, but they're going to have to take some decisive steps." Obama said he and Sec. Geithner are "spending an enormous amount of time" working with European leaders to urge them to take decisive action.
The president also revealed that enacting “comprehensive immigration reform” will be one of his second-term goals. Then he zoomed out:
"So if we can stabilize Europe, position ourselves on education, on science and technology, on energy and a few other pieces of unfinished business like comprehensive immigration reform, then there's no reason why America should not thrive in the decades to come."
While the president acknowledged that democracy is a “pretty rough” process, he assured his benefactors that if he gets re-elected they will be able to join him on the “next phase” of his “journey”:
"This phase of the campaign, I think, you're seeing a lot of negative ads, a lot of contrast ads. Although when people start saying how terrible it is, I just have to remind them — take a look at what Jefferson and Adams had to say. Democracy’s always been pretty rough and pretty messy. …
So upshot is: If the election were held today, I think it would be close, but I think we'd win. And we now have 99 days left. If I can say that every day for the next 99 days, then we'll be able to embark on the next phase of this journey."
However, not all New Yorkers were quite so pleased to participate in the journey:
On the way to tonight's fundraiser, the press van spotted a New Yorker giving the motorcade his middle finger.