WASHINGTON--Almost Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) headlines a big rally in Portland on Sunday night. Oregon and Kentucky vote Tuesday. At a Portland fund-raiser on Saturday evening, Obama talked about Democratic unity. “That means all of you have to be nice to Clinton supporters," Obama said.
Pool report by Matthew Mosk, Washington Post
EVENT: Barack Obama Fundraiser in Portland
From: Matthew A Mosk
Subject: Pool report on Portland Fundraiser, invite attached
Pool Report – Portland Fundraiser
Barack Obama held an evening fundraiser at the University Club of Portland, offering an olive branch to Sen. Hillary Clinton, and making some strong statements about the recent scrap with President Bush and Sen. John McCain over foreign policy. More on those remarks to follow below.
About 300 guests gathered in a large, wood-paneled club room, with open bar, a few cookies and pastries, and small silver bowls of pretzels. The front of the room, near the riser, was jammed elbow to elbow. In the back, several small children scampered around. While guests mingled upstairs, Obama spent about 30 minutes downstairs posing for photographs at a private reception. Price list is as follows:
Event Chairs: Raise $10,000
Host Committee: Raise $5,000
Private Reception: $2,300 per person
General Reception: $1,000 per person
Rough estimate is that the event brought in about $350,000.
Michelle Obama introduced her husband, expressing surprise at the position 15 months of campaigning has now put them in. “So here we are,” she said. “Probably not where we were supposed to be, ever. No one put their money on Barack Obama.”
At which point, a woman in the crowd shouted, “I did!”
“And look what you’ve done,” Michelle Obama smiled.
Sen. Obama was warmly received, and appeared at ease as he spoke from a lecturn. He singled out for greetings former Oregon Gov. Barbara K. Roberts, the state’s first woman governor, who served from 1991 to 1995, Hall of Fame basketball coach and player Leonard Randolph "Lenny" Wilkens, Air Force Gen. Tony McPeak, and the state’s treasurer and secretary of state.
After touching on the main points of his stump speech, he raised the scrape over appeasement with President Bush and McCain. “They though they had a good thing going,” he said, referring to what he has called their attacks on his foreign policy approach. “Now they’re, sort of, trying to figure out what happened. I mean, we went right back at ‘em. And we’ll keep going right back at ‘em.”
Obama predicted a victory in Oregon, and said he believed the resulting delegate haul would “put us over the top.”
“We will be able to say we have won a majority,” he said. “But we have a lot of work to do ahead of us.”
He said to win in November would require a unified Democratic Party, adding: “That means all of you have to be nice to Clinton supporters.”
Not everyone in attendance was firmly sold on Obama. Christine Cha, 41, a radiation oncologist at the Oregon Clinic, said her husband was solidly with Obama, but she continued to relate to Clinton. She said she appreciates “how hard it is for a woman to try and break the ultimate glass ceiling.” She didn’t mind the tough primary, saying “I think the process is very important. It’s good she’s giving him a real run for it so he is tested now.”
On the other hand, there were many who said they had fallen for the senator, including Jeff and Annie Strain, both in their late 30s, who drove more than three hours from Seattle to attend the event.
And there was Julia Brim-Edwards, 46, who became a Republican in 1979 and worked on Capitol Hill for Republicans including former Sen. Bob Packwood of Oregon. She ran her husband’s campaign for state treasurer (he’s Randall Edwards, a Democrat), and said he won the primary by only a few hundred votes. She had not changed parties to help him. But in April, she says she switched parties for Obama. “He will fundamentally change the country,” she said. “He’s very unique.”