Raising cash for his re-election all over New York City on Thursday night, President Obama told supporters at a $35,800-per-ticket fundraiser at the Manhattan home of director Spike Lee that he’s “absolutely confident we’re going to win this thing.”
Speaking at Mr. Lee’s 9,800-square-foot townhouse on the Upper East Side, the president said he “couldn’t be more proud” of his record. But he said that, as much as he liked the fundraiser’s elegant setting, “we’re going to have to hit the streets” to campaign hard.
“We can’t take it for granted,” Mr. Obama told the audience, which also included singer Mariah Carey. “I will work even harder than I did in 2008.”
The president reminded Mr. Lee that his first date with future wife Michelle was to see the filmmaker’s movie, “Do the Right Thing.”
Mr. Lee quipped, “Good thing you didn’t choose ‘Driving Miss Daisy.’ “
“Driving Miss Daisy” won the Academy Award for best picture for the year that Mr. Lee’s film was released. Because it’s a happy-ending story of a friendship between an elderly Southern woman and her black chauffeur, the Academy’s preference for it over Mr. Lee’s film — which was almost totally ignored — has since been the basis of claims of racial insensitivity or indifference by Mr. Lee and some film critics.
The president attended three other fundraisers in New York Thursday night, including one for 1,400 supporters at the Apollo Theater in Harlem.