For all the allusions to challenges unmet and work left undone — infrastructure spending, expanded pre-kindergarten and gun control among them — there was little sense of a Democratic base that’s given up hope. Indeed, Obama acknowledged at one point that he was preaching to the choir.
“We’ve got kind of an Obama cabal here in this room,” he said to laughter in the sleek, white apartment in an upscale Chicago neighborhood.
At his first stop, Obama even lent his singing voice to the cause, leading a chorus of “Happy Birthday” for Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., the chairman of the campaign committee.
All told, Obama’s events Wednesday were likely to bring in almost $1 million, at a minimum, for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Obama’s trip to Chicago marked the latest stop on an aggressive fundraising tour that started soon after his re-election and will continue up until the 2014 midterm elections. Although eager to protect their fragile Senate majority, Democrats’ top prize would be the House and returning the gavel to Pelosi.
“I could not be more anxious or eager to have her back as Speaker of the House,” Obama said as the California congresswoman beamed.
Democrats need to gain 17 seats to recapture control of the House next year. It’s an ambitious goal, Democrats and Obama acknowledge, considering the president’s party typically loses seats during the sixth year in office.