CHICAGO (AP) — Returning to the town that launched his political career, President Barack Obama gave a boost Wednesday to Democrats chasing control of the House, telling donors he’s still seeking compromise with Republicans — but if that fails, it’s up to Democrats to finish the job.
Joined by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, his former chief of staff, at a glitzy hotel in downtown Chicago, Obama cast his days of politicking as behind him — “I’ve run my last political race.” But he portrayed a renewed Democratic majority in Congress as the best insurance policy against a GOP determined to stand in his way.
“Washington is not broken,” Obama said. “It’s broken right now for a particular reason, but it’s not permanently broken. It can be fixed.”
That’s where Democratic donors and the candidates they support come in, Obama said.
About 150 supporters, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, attended the reception, where tickets started at $1,000 per person.
But the big bucks awaited Obama and his party at the home of Bettylu Saltzman, whose support for Obama started decades earlier when he was first entering politics in Illinois. Tickets to dinner at Saltzman’s home started at $10,000 and topped out at $32,400 — the legal maximum.
“I can honestly say I probably would not be president today without Bettylu Saltzman,” Obama said. “Love that woman.”