Obama: Mourning in Miami Again

Photograph by Jewel Samad/AFP via Getty Images

President Barack Obama shakes hands with former NBA basketball player Alonzo Mourning as he arrives to play golf at Grande Oaks Golf Club in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Nov. 9, 2013.

Two weekends ago, President Barack Obama was golfing with Alonzo Mourning at the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo.

Tonight, Obama was at the Miami home of the former Miami Heat center, an avid fundraiser for the president, raising top-dollar donations for the Democratic Party’s congressional campaigns.

This is something of a change from the Democratic dinners of past campaigns, where Miami super lobbyists like Chris Korge played host for a visiting president. Yet the strategy is the same: With tickets ranging from $16,200 to $34,200 per couple, and 75 guests joining them, Obama was there to raise money for the 2014 campaigns.

The White House said House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California would join them there, along with South Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who chairs the Democratic National Committee, and Reps. Joe Garcia of Miami, Lois Frankel of West Paln Beach and Corrine Brown of Jacksonville.

The White House also was happy to say that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has out raised its Republican counterpart for the midterm House contests by $17 million in this election cycle.

More cash on hand, too, the White House noted.

Which brings us back to dinner, with Mourning.

”When I came into office and Nancy was the speaker, we were facing the worst crisis since the Great Depression, and our top priority was making sure that we stopped the bleeding and we started the economy growing again,” the president told his audience tonight. “.And we’ve done that.  The economy is now growing.  For four consecutive years we’ve now seen 8.7 million jobs created.  Energy is booming.  Clean energy has doubled.  The auto industry is roaring.  Housing has recovered, including here in Florida. ”

“Everything we’re fighting for now is designed to make sure that not just the economy is growing, not only are we investing in research and development and staying on the cutting-edge when it comes to technology, and not only are we developing traditional sources of energy and clean energy and becoming more energy efficient — not only are we doing all the things required to become more competitive, but we’re also paying attention to middle-class families and working families…

“Now, unfortunately, we’ve got on the other side folks who have a different vision of America.  They’re no less patriotic.  They love their families just as much.  Many of them do wonderful things in their communities.  But their basic vision is that we don’t have an obligation, at least through our government, to help; everybody has got to just look out for themselves or the community that you’ve built in your church or synagogue or your block or your family.  We don’t have to worry about that kid on the other side of town. We don’t have to worry about that woman who is cleaning our house — which is why every initiative we put forward they say no to. ”

“And that’s what not just this election but the next five elections are going to be about,” he said, with words the dinner crowd was eager to hear. “Now, the good news is on every individual issue, America is on our side.”

“ You take a poll of whether or not it’s a good thing to invest in early childhood education, everybody says yes.  Take a poll and you ask, does it make sense for us to raise the minimum wage, the majority of people say yes; a majority of Republicans say yes.  Take a poll, should we have immigration reform to make sure that folks who are part of our communities, whose kids are in our schools alongside ours, who are making incredible contributions, should they have a chance to get out of the shadows and make sure that they can live out their dreams — the majority say yes.”


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