Louis Roug of the Los Angeles Times continues her Friday fund-raising crawl with Obama at the Park West at 322 W. Armitage.
Subject: Second pool report, cleans up Obama's quote about unity
At the first event at the Hyatt, attendees paid $2,300 to be there and hosts had been asked to raise $50,000 each.
Obama began by talking about the length of the campaign and repeating his joke about children being born and learning to walk since the beginning of the race. He then referred to the recent story in the New York Times about his travels and impressions of America.
"There are three impressions that immediately come to mind. America is vast. It is a big place…there are place that are gorgeous that you don't expect to be gorgeous…
Impression number two is that the American people are just good people. They're decent. They're generous. They are hard-working, independent and self-reliant. They have set of common values and ideals that make you really optimistic about the possibility of this country…Most of all, what defines Americans is that the next generation should do better than this generation…this is the driving force behind the American dream…
The third impression is that people are hurting right now…they feel like life is getting tougher…According to Phil Gramm, it's just a 'mental recession,' and they just have to get happy…
It is this election and this moment that people feel like they have to take back this government…because it doesn't reflect the possibilities of where we can go in the next generation.
That's what's at stake in this election. And that's the reason, I think, we've seen such extraordinary excitement …not so much because of the candidate but because of the moment…
If we're willing to fight for it, the challenges that are before us, which are formidable, can be solved."
He then gave a quick run-down of his platform, briefly touching on most policy areas and using his usual language.
"Everybody is concerned about whether the Democratic Party will be unified in time. We will be unified…We don't have an option but to make sure that we are united and make sure that we succeed….we've got an opportunity in the next four months that doesn't come around that often, maybe once in a generation…we've got to be unified. All of us.
Outside taking care of our jobs and our families, nothing is more important than for the Democrats re-take the White House…we can't afford to be divided by race, we can't afford to be divided by religion, we can't afford to be divided by region or by class, and we can't afford to be divided by gender," he said, poking fun at Mac. "That means, by the way, Bernie you got to clean up your act. This is a family affair… I'm just messing with you, man," he said.
"We have to make sure that we push aside the petty and the trivial which is so often what gets emphasized on a day-to-day basis. I'll tell you, sometimes I get drawn into that kind of pettiness. I won't lie to you. If you get smacked around enough by some of these Republican talking points, you start wanting to hit back. But what I try to constantly remind myself. This is not about me. It's not about John McCain. It's about the American people."
At 9:30 p.m. Obama arrived at Park West, a club in Lincoln Park where a decidedly younger crowd had come to see him and Jeff Tweedy from the band Wilco.
As Obama arrived at the back door, the band was playing the Bob Dylan song, "I Shall Be Released."
Obama then took the stage and immediately refuted rumors there is no Wilco on his iPod. "I love Wilco," he said, to cheers from the packed club. Hundreds of supporters (and Jeff Tweedy fans) had paid upward of $100 to be there.
Obama gave a very brief speech, less than 15 minutes long, before slipping out the backdoor and going home.