Third POTUS pool report: At the Piedmont dinner

Co-host Wayne Jordan thanked the guests for committing so much to the campaign, and spoke briefly about how POTUS’ decisions are fundamentally affecting and improving the lives of all Americans. Co-host Quinn Delaney presented POTUS with an “I Hella (heart) Oakland” t-shirt, saying, “We’re so glad you’re here in the East Bay.”

POTUS began speaking at 5:30 p.m. PT, noting that “because this is a more intimate setting, I’m not going to make a long speech.” He said that while in Aurora, Colo., yesterday, he’d “spent time with the families, the medical staff, the first responders,” and while it’s “easy for us to slip into despair” at such times, they showed strength and grace that “would make you extraordinarily optimistic about America.”

“Americans are strong and they’re resilient and they’re optimistic about their futures and their kids’ futures,” he said, although they know of and are concerned about dysfunction in Washington, D.C., and a sluggish economy. “All they want to see is that their leadership shows the same decency and common sense that they try to apply every day in their own lives.”

With jobs added and even the housing market starting to rebound, “we are in a much better position now, in part because of the work my administration has done,” he said. “The bad news is, we still have some headwinds.”

Too many people remain out of work or underwater on their mortgages, POTUS said, and the middle class still needs help.

“Right now we’ve got as clear a choice as we’ve seen in our lifetimes,” he said.

He said the GOP platform calls for tax cuts for the rich and stripping away regulations from Wall Street and corporate polluters. “It’s a theory we’ve tested for a decade and it didn’t work.”

“This debate plays itself out across the board, on almost every issue,” he said, noting that California isn’t a battleground state so many in the audience haven’t seen the attack ads that are flying back and forth elsewhere in the country. “I’m comfortable that the American people will make the right choice.”

“This is going to be a close race … but I’m as invigorated and determined as ever to win,” he said. He finished his remarks at 5:39 p.m. PT, and reporters were ushered out before a Q&A session began.

Renowned chef Alice Waters prepared a meal of grilled jumbo prawns over heirloom tomatoes, avocados and basil; dry-aged beef tenderloin with demi-glace, sweet-pea risotto and carrots; and a chocolate-cherry bombe. Prawns accompanied by Keenan 2010 Chardonnay, beef by Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon, both from Napa Valley.

Among those in the dinner crowd: Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif.; prominent Bay Area attorneys Bob Van Nest and Steve Kazan; Ask.com founder and Alta Partners Garrett Gruener; philanthropists and clean-tech investors Jim and Gretchen Sandler; and real estate investment manager Dorine Streeter.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • RR senile columnist

    Any truth to the rumour Ms Lee was overheard referring to the guest of honor as “pretty fly fo’A half-white boy”

  • Elwood

    “Among those in the dinner crowd: Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif”

    Is there no end to this beyotch?

    I guess it’s “black congresswomen up front”.

  • JohnW

    I guess we’ll put RR and Elwood in the “undecided” column for Barbara Lee’s re-election.

  • JohnW

    POTUS: “…and even the housing market starting to rebound…”

    Headline and subhead in MarketPlace section of 7/23 Wall Street Journal:

    “As Homes Go, So Do Pickups — Hopes for Light-Truck Sales Swell as New Home Building, a Key Indicator, Hits Four-Year High”

  • Publius

    $35,800 a plate! Renowned Chef Alice Waters! The Piedmont hills! Now that’s middle class living.

    Also in attendance at the swanky dinner were 2 Obama bundlers Steve Westley and Matt Rogers. These 2 were key players in the Solyndra disaster. I am glad to see Steve and Matt landed on their feet and they were able to lay down the $35,800 to show their support for POTUS.

    They gather on high in the Piedmont hills, to feast on “aged beef” and receive accolades about their empathy for the common man. Surrounded by true believers and receivers; the safest of havens where corruption is reserved for the other guys. I want to live in that world! Where do I sign up?

    I am waiting for my invite. I am waiting for POTUS to build me a business. God knows I can’t build one on my own. Once I receive, I promise to give back. I wish I was a Democrat…..

  • Elwood

    @ #5 Publius

    Ay yes, dimmiecrats. The party of the common people.

  • JohnW

    Compared to what’s happening on the Romney side, even $35,800 is “middle class.” People were able to attend for as little as $250. Any Romney fundraisers for $250? But I hear you can get a photo with Ann Romney’s dancing horse for $77, symbolizing the $77,000 tax deduction they took for the horse. Sure beats your basic child tax credit deal.

  • Elwood

    Tragic news for Romney 🙁

    His dancing horse jumped on top of his car and killed his dog.

    Both horse and car had to be destroyed.

  • JohnW

    It’s the fable of Seamus and the Mare.

  • Elwood

    Government Motors stock falls to new low:


    It’s working! It’s working! Obama is brilliant!

    Taxpayers are owed $41 billion on a company currently worth $29 billion.

  • JohnW

    Stock down due to Europe woes. Yup, let’s blame Obama for Europe too.

    Without the bailout, about 1 million good-paying jobs in assembly plants, supplier companies and local dealerships would not exist, not to mention other small businesses that feed off of that. We would have paid unemployment. The PBGC would have taken over pension responsibility. The people now in those jobs would not be paying say an average of $5,000 in annual income taxes ($5 billion per year would be $20 billion since 2008). Even if the entire $41 billion goes uncollected (unlikely), we’re money ahead, and have an American-based auto industry with some decent products to boot. I’ll take that deal.

  • Elwood

    I didn’t understand the new Chevrolet slogan.

    “Chevy Runs Deep”

    And then it dawned on me.

    They’re going to build a solar powered submarine powered by all those unwanted Solyndra solar panels.

  • Elwood
  • JohnW

    Neither a borrower nor a lender be;
    For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
    and borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
    This above all: to thine own self be true,
    And it must follow, as the night the day,
    Thou canst not then be false to any man.

    Bill Shakespeare, Hamlet

    Which is why I paid cash for my last four cars and last two homes, humble ones though they be.

    PS: As the link observes, “Subprime lending in cars is not as risky as in housing…”.

  • Truthclubber

    12 of the 14 comments here (86%!) are from the “bromance” of JohnW and Elwood — see my comments from the earlier post on another thread to prove my point — these two are so neurotic that they HAVE to dominate any public media channel they think they can, in order to puff up their damaged sense of self that is convinced they are the “know-it-alls” for an entire readership…

  • Josh Richman

    Everyone’s welcome to make as many comments here as they like, Truthclubber, so long as they’re related to the issue at hand and not geared toward personal attacks on other commenters. I think YOU should consider that carefully before you post again here.