NEW YORK (AP) — Melding 2014 needs with 2016 hopes, President Barack Obama teamed up Tuesday with an ally and fundraiser of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to help the Democratic Party erase a worrisome debt.
Obama was in New York on Tuesday to raise money for the Democratic National Committee at a high-dollar fundraiser at the home of Alan Patricof, the founder of a New York venture capital fund. Patricof is a longtime Clinton friend and fundraiser for her Senate and presidential campaigns, and the event aligns the Obama and Clinton orbits as the former first lady considers a White House bid in 2016.
It also illustrates the overlapping fundraising draw that Obama and Clinton represent at a crucial time for the cash-strapped DNC. And it helps bridge some internal party tensions between donors who are merely interested in presidential politics and the Democrats' needs during this year's midterm elections.
Obama also raised money for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee fundraiser at the home of Hamilton "Tony" James, an Obama fundraiser and president of Blackstone, the multinational private equity firm.
Obama told donors he could accomplish much more with a cooperative Congress and complained that Washington is hindered by an "atmosphere that puts a premium on saying no."
Obama has been making the case that he will sidestep Congress and act on his own if needed. But in remarks to more than 30 donors and supporters, including New York's Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio, Obama said, "man, it would be a lot easier if I had a Congress that was serious about America's future."
Obama's remarks came around the same time that Republican David Jolly won a Florida congressional seat in a race deemed a test for November's mid-term elections.
Obama conceded that Democrats also have flaws. "We have our blind spots, we have our dogmas, we have our crazy folks," he said.