Pitching his jobs plan and his re-election, President Barack Obama attended two intimate $35,800-per-couple fundraisers Thursday, assuring donors that he will push Congress to pass his economic initiative and expressing confidence in his ability to win a second term.
"The odds of me being re-elected are much higher than the odds of me being elected in the first place," he joked, seeking to tamp down Democratic anxiety over the impact of a bad economy on his political prospects.
Comparing his drive to get the public behind his $447 billion jobs proposal to a political campaign, Obama declared: "We intend to keep the pressure up," he said. "Folks are ready for action."
Obama made his first stop at a penthouse in the Foggy Bottom section of the capital and spoke to about 30 donors. The dusk event was hosted by top Obama fundraiser Frank White Jr., Sylvia Davis and the African American Leadership Council.
The president also addressed about 50 donors at the Georgetown home of former ambassador to Portugal Elizabeth Frawley Bagley, a major Democratic Party fundraiser.
Under federal law, the Obama campaign can get $5,000 of the $35,800 contribution and the Democratic National Committee gets the balance.
In his remarks, Obama laid out an agenda of unfinished business, including an improved education system, an energy policy and implementation of the health care law he helped shepherd through Congress. To those who may not yet be motivated politically, he said: "If you need inspiration, watch the Republican presidential debates."
Next year's election, he said, will offer "as clear a contrast as we've ever seen."
"That contest will help shape America not just for the next five years, but for decades to come."