Speaking to a group of supporters from a corner of the room at a fundraiser in Weston, Massachusetts, President Obama said, “Democrats do have one congenital disease, and that is that we don’t vote during midterms and we don’t feel the same sense of urgency during midterms, and we like the presidential races and the hoopla and the glitz. But this is where the rubber hits the road.”
Obama voice was a little hoarse, per the white House pooler. “Some of you saw there was an interesting election yesterday,” Obama said referencing Cantor’s surprising defeat, drawing laughter. Obama then pointed out that Cantor’s defeat should not be used as an excuse to do nothing on immigration reform.
Detailing his agenda of (in part) getting immigration reform done, rebuilding our infrastructure around this country, investing in basic research and science, equal pay for equal work and a strong minimum wage, Obama told the room of supporters, “That’s what this evening is about. That’s what my presidency has been about. That’s what the next six months is going to be about leading up to the midterms…
And the only way I’m going to be able to do that is to make sure that we’ve got a strong showing in these midterms. I’m not on the ballot, but this is my last race — because the better we do in the midterms, the more likely we are to get the things done that everybody in this room knows needs to be done.”
Here’s where the President called out Democrats for staying home during midterms — he really wants to end the gridlock and start getting things done, “Democrats do have one congenital disease, and that is that we don’t vote during midterms and we don’t feel the same sense of urgency during midterms, and we like the presidential races and the hoopla and the glitz. But this is where the rubber hits the road. I’m going to do everything I can to make sure that the House of Representatives does the right thing, that we no longer have one extreme faction that is blocking what the majority of the American people want to see happen with comprehensive immigration reform.
But it would be a whole lot easier if Democrats vote in the midterms.”
Obama explained that he wants to keep the Senate not because Democrats are so perfect, but because Republicans are not a functioning party, “But I got to tell you, I really want to keep a Democratic Senate. And I want to tell you that I want to keep a Democratic Senate not because I think Democrats have a monopoly on wisdom. Sometimes people ask me what would I like for Father’s Day or Christmas or my birthday, and pretty close to the top of my list is usually a loyal and rational opposition.” This drew laughter. He continued, “We want a Republican Party that can function and with which we can negotiate and compromise and help move the country forward. But unfortunately, that’s not what we’re seeing in Washington right now from the Republicans.”
The President said that it’s urgent that Democrats vote because he needs Congressional action — he can’t fix everything from the White House, “On every one of these subjects, whether it’s climate change or minimum wage, I’m taking steps that don’t require congressional action, but we can make a whole lot more progress if we’re voting in the midterms.”
“You got to feel in your gut that this is really important and put everything you got into it. That’s what I’m going to do — despite having told Michelle that I’d already run my last campaign,” he said drawing more laughter. “It turns out I had to tell her I got one more left.”
Obama is running one more campaign. Obama voters should join him.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.