Obama on the Record: Democratic National Committee Fundraiser

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, everybody. Thank you. (Applause.) Please, everybody, have a seat. Thank you. Thank you so much. Now, first of all, I want to thank all the attendees, and Jane Stetson, the DNC National Finance Chair; and Andy Tobias, who is the DNC Treasurer — both of them have done so much already for the party. We’re grateful for them.

I want to thank my great friend, Tim Kaine. He’s being a little modest when he says he endorsed me early. He endorsed me before just about anybody else outside of Illinois endorsed me — (applause) — on the steps in Richmond, the former seat of the Confederacy, back in February of 2007, at a time when not many people gave me a chance. And, Tim, we are just extraordinarily grateful for you — for the exceptional leadership that you’re already showing not just in Virginia, but now as a strong and steady hand at the DNC.

And one of the things I’m most excited about with Tim is that he understands this is not about top-down politics, this is about bottom-up politics. And part of the reason I was so excited to have him be part of the DNC is he understood that what matters ultimately is how well we are mobilizing the American people to take charge of this democracy. And that’s what he’s stood for all his life; that’s what he’s standing for now.

I want to thank all the members of the National Finance Committee and the Mid-Atlantic Finance Committee in this room who have been there every step of the way for more than two years now. Without you, I would not be standing here today as President. And so I’m extraordinarily grateful.

And I’m grateful to all of you at the Democratic National Committee and Organizing for America — OFA — for your efforts to share our future-facing agenda with the American people. I know that thousands of volunteers, as Tim talked about, took the extraordinary step last weekend of reaching out to Americans all across 50 states, talking to people about our plans to move this economy from recession to recovery, and ultimately to prosperity. And I’m always humbled by their efforts, because they’re doing it not because they want something out of it, they’re not doing it because they think that they’re going to benefit in some personal way; they’re doing it because they believe in this country and are willing to commit to it.

It’s those efforts that help me hear the concerns of ordinary Americans from all across this country: their struggles and their hopes; their worries about whether they’ll have a job and a paycheck that they can count on; whether they’ll be able to pay their medical bills or their child’s college tuition; or whether they’re going to be able to retire anytime soon.

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