SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — With an eye on his legacy as the clock begins to run out on his presidency, President Barack Obama vowed Friday to "squeeze every last bit of change" out of his final two years.
Obama made the pledge at a Democratic Party fundraiser, his first of the 2016 election cycle as he begins the laborious process of raising the hundreds of millions of dollars that will be needed to help the Democratic man or woman who could succeed him in office.
Obama briefly addressed about 60 people seated in a parlor at tech investor Sandy Robertson's home in the Russian Hill neighborhood of San Francisco, where most of the homes serve up picturesque views of the bay.
Contributions started at $10,000 and went up the maximum donation of $32,400.
Robertson said the fundraiser was a "nice sense of completion" for him because he had been asked to host a fundraiser for Obama in 2004 but was unable to because he was out of the country at the time.
In brief remarks that touched on his desire to lift up the middle class, a theme he discussed in last month's State of the Union address, Obama noted that his time in office is dwindling but said "two years is a long time."
Long enough, he said, to set the political and policy stage for years to come with his policies.
"Two years is also the time in which we're going to be setting the stage for the next presidential election and the next 10 years of American policy," Obama said.
"I intend to run through the tape and work really hard and squeeze every last little bit of change and improvement in the lives of ordinary Americans and middle-class families that I can," he said, concluding his remarks before launching into a closed-door question-and-answer session with the roomful of supporters.
After the fundraiser, Obama joined senior members of his staff and friends for dinner at Spruce, the White House said. The posh American restaurant serves seasonal produce and naturally raised meats, poultry and fish, according to its website.
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