President Obama told Democratic donors Wednesday night that the looming November midterm contests are vitally important — even more important than his own election victories in terms of breaking "this downward spiral of even more cynicism and more dysfunction" that has gripped the nation's political system.
Speaking at a fundraiser at the Los Angeles home of Alan Horn, chairman of Walt Disney Studios, the president rallied fellow Democrats by telling them his agenda, and his ability to get things done during his time left in office, depends on his party reclaiming full control on Capitol Hill.
"We're not going to make good choices unless we break out of this cycle in which dysfunction breeds cynicism, and cynicism then breeds more dysfunction We've got to break out of it. And that happens during midterms. That does not happen during presidential elections," Mr. Obama said.
"A lot of people here are already excited about 2016. You guys were excited about 2008. You got geared up for 2012. I am grateful. Now, I need some partners. I've got to have a Democratic Senate. And when you think about everything I was able to accomplish with [House Minority Leader] Nancy Pelosi at the helm in the House, all the issues that you care about that we were able to advance when she was the leader, I think you've got a big stake in making sure we've got a Democratic House as well," he said.
Ms. Pelosi, California Democrat, attended Wednesday night's event. At the outset of his remarks, the president declared "We love Nancy" and predicted she'll once again be speaker of the House.
Putting her back in charge of the House, Mr. Obama said, should be as important to Democrats as holding on to the White House in 2016. Doing so would enable the president to advance immigration reform, a minimum-wage hike and other stalled wish-list items.
"My main message to all of you is — feel a sense of urgency about this election. This is my last campaign, and I'm going to put everything I've got into it, but I need you to feel that this is just as important," Mr. Obama said. "Because we can't afford to wait until 2016. And nothing is going to happen magically, by the way, that changes in 2016 if we still the same kind of voting patterns and the same dysfunction that we've got right now in Congress. We'll be stymied all over again."
Wednesday night's event raised money for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
Tickets ranged from $10,000 to $32,400.
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