Obama to Donors: ‘We Get a Little Sleepy’ in the Midterms

Photograph by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

U.S. President Barack Obama in the Oval Office on Feb. 11, 2014.

For the president to close down a lengthy stretch of the George Washington Parkway in Virginia during evening rush hour, it must be really important, right?

Well, it’s important to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, for sure.

It was their fundraiser which President Barack Obama was attending — ferried, as is the protocol, by a motorcade on roads cleared of traffic. The caravan left the White House last night at 6:24 p.m. EST, snarling the roads for Virginia commuters.

Obama traveled to the palatial home of former Sen. Chuck Robb and his wife Lynda Robb, LBJ’s daughter. Their house is in the same McLean, Virginia, neighborhood where Sen. Ted Kennedy once lived.

The 40 or so attendees at the DSCC fundraiser ponied up as much as $32,400 for the privilege of supping with the president and hearing him answer some questions away from the prying eyes of the press.

Attendees were required to surrender their cell phones in the adjacent Grecian-style swimming pool building before the private dinner. That helps avoid any awkward moments for Democrats like the `’47 percent” Republicans suffered with Mitt Romney during the last election cycle.

DSCC Chairman Sen. Michael Bennet, of Colorado, and Virginia’s U.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine also dropped by. Obama delivered a message intended to light a fire under donors for this year’s mid-term elections, during which Democrats hope to hang on to the Senate.

“It’s something about mid-terms,” Obama said. “I don’t know what it is about us. We get a little sleepy, we get a little distracted. We don’t turn out to vote. We don’t fund campaigns as passionately. That has to change and has got to change right here, because too much is at stake for us to let this opportunity slip by.”

By the time the schmoozing wrapped up, it was 8:29 p.m., so there were fewer up-in-arms drivers when the G.W. Parkway was closed for the ride back south to the White House.

D.C.-area commuters need not worry about the POTUS-card snarling tonight’s rush-hour traffic with his motorcade. Tonight he’ll be rallying the Democratic National Committee faithful in Boston.


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