Obama at fundraising dinner: I need Democrats

obama-header2Democrats don’t vote in midterms. Barack Obama knows that, and he knows what it means for the November midterms.

“Our voters are younger. They’re more likely to be minority; unmarried women,” Obama said at a Democratic Senate Campaign Committee fundraising dinner in New York Wednesday night. “They’re folks who can get galvanized and excited during presidential elections, but we have a tougher time communicating with them during midterms.  And that’s what we have to break.  We have to break that cycle.”

Easier said than done on that one. Obama thinks Democrats, who otherwise seem to be running into a stiff headwind politically, acting have some wind at their sails.

“The country is, by most measures, doing much better than when I came into office,” said Obama, citing gains in the job market, the stock market and the energy sector.

Getting that message to voters not inclined to show up is the trick.

“If we are going to realize the potential that we have right now, then we’ve got to perform better during these midterm elections.  I have to have partners in Congress,” Obama said

“If you care about climate change, I’ve got to have partners in Congress,” the president said. “I can do some things administratively; we can do more if we’ve got folks who are serious in Congress.  I can do some things administratively on immigration, but I can’t make sure that all the incredible talent that is a huge strength for us compared to our competitors over the next two decades – the fact that young people from around the world want to come here and succeed here and strive here – I can’t deliver on that without Congress ultimately acting.”

The odds are long on Democrats gaining control of the House, and it’s an even bet that Republicans might emerge from the fall elections in control of the Senate. Them’s the stakes for the final two years of the Obama administration, and ultimately the Obama legacy.

“We’ve got all the ingredients to make this the American Century, just like the last one.  To achieve it, though, we’ve got to make sure our political system works better,” Obama said. “And, yes, there are all kinds of reforms that we need to do, from campaign finance to how a filibuster works, to going after Republicans hard when their main political agenda when it comes to – or main election strategy is preventing people from voting – we’ve got to push back on all that stuff.  But ultimately, there are enough voters out there to deliver if we can turn them out. “


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