Obama in L.A.: 'You ain't seen nothing yet'
By Sam Youngman
Posted: 05/27/09 11:51 PM [ET]
LOS ANGELES —
Even as he conceded there is still much hard work to do, President Obama was in a boastful mood Wednesday night, telling a star-studded crowd at a fundraising dinner that he "would put these first four months up against any prior administration since FDR."
The president, speaking to a dinner that included Hollywood A-listers like Kiefer Sutherland, Marisa Tomei, Jamie Foxx, Ron Howard and Steven Spielberg, lauded the legislation he has signed since taking office but added that he is "not satisfied."
"I'm confident in the future, but I'm not yet content," Obama said.
The celebrity dinner, which cost couples $30,400 to attend, was followed by a larger, lower-dollar concert that all told raised between $3 million and $4 million for the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
Joining the celebrities feting Obama were Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and Republican-turned-Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter (Pa.), "the newest member of our caucus."
Obama was introduced by Dreamworks CEO and longtime Democratic donor Jeffrey Katzenberg. The president thanked Katzenberg, saying: "If it weren't for you, we would not be in the White House."
The trip here came on the heels of a fundraising jaunt to Las Vegas to raise about $2 million for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), according to aides.
The president, while seeking to bolster his record as president so far, warned both audiences that significant challenges lie ahead.
At the concert, headlined by Jennifer Hudson and Earth, Wind and Fire, Obama responded to an audience member yelling, "Yes we can" by saying, "Yes we have. But we've got more work to do. We can't rest on our laurels.
"We didn't ask for the challenges that we face, but we don't shrink from them either," he said. "It won't be easy. There will be setbacks. It will take time."
The president conceded that his administration "had our fits and starts."
"I've made some mistakes, and I guarantee you I'll make some more," he said.
But Obama said in promising to continue to work hard, "Los Angeles, you ain't seen nothing yet."
Obama also lauded Judge Sonia Sotomayor, his pick to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice David Souter, repeating his line that she has more experience than anyone currently sitting on the bench when they were nominated.
He joked at the second fundraiser that she graduated summa cum laude, "not just magna or laude laude, but summa cum laude."
Obama is scheduled to leave for Washington early Thursday morning.