Here are the verbatim pool reports filed late last night from President Obama’s San Francisco fundraisers by the Chronicle’s Carla Marinucci:
About 100 guests gathered at the home of Democratic billionaire and environmental activist Tom Steyer to hear President Obama Wednesday — an event inside a three story stucco home which overlooks the Golden Gate Bridge (and lists for $5.8 million on Zillow).
The setting was spectacular, at the end of a peninsula and a dead end road in the tony Seacliff neighborhood, though the famous bridge was covered in fog. Obama said his hosts apologized to him for that.
Obama addressed the crowd in a high ceiling room without furniture, but repeatedly mentioned the issue of climate change in his 19 minute remarks.
Among House members present: Rep. Mike Honda of San Jose, Rep. Eric Swalwell of the East Bay and Rep. Jared Huffman of the North Bay.
He was introduced by Steyer, who was with his wife, Kat Taylor, who sang to guests as a greeting.
“This is the cheapest ticket in town,” Steyer told the crowd, in introducing the president.
Steyer, a vociferous opponent of the Keystone pipeline and a strong supporter of climate change leglislation, appeared to try to put at ease concerns that Obama would not make good on promises to keep the issue at the top of his agenda.
“He is doing everything we can on the issues that we care about,” Steyer said. “He has political limitations…so we really have an obligation to help him.”
“We are like role players in basketball…,” said Steyer. “And we have the great star gunner who has to take the star shot…we have the best left-handed shameless gunner in the world.”
Obama for his part, addressed the climate change issue repeatedly in his remarks.
Despite an “aggressive agenda” by Republicans, he said, “We’ve been able to reduce carbon emissions in this country …(and) address one of the biggest challenges of our time — and that is climate change.”
“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” said Obama. “We can do so much more.”
Obama acknowledged that the issue is “close to Tom’s heart,” but added, “the politics of this are tough.”
“If you’ve still got that job that is powered by cheap energy … and you certainly can’t afford to buy a Prius,” he said, “you may be concerned about the temperature of the planet.”
“But it’s probably not rising to your number one concern,” Obama said, such as keeping a job or “how do I feed my family.”
Obama said that supporters will need to “marry a genuine, passionate concern about middle class families” and convince them that “we are working just as hard for them as we are for an environmental agenda.”
“And that’s going to take some work.” The President’s biggest applause line, though, came when — citing accomplishment of his administration — he noted that because of changes in culture in this country, “we’re able to see that the LGBT community has full and equal citizenship.”
Second pool report, after the jump…
President Obama’s second San Francisco fundraiser was held in the famed atrium of the home of philanthropists Ann and Gordon Getty — two-story columned room with large French doors and ornate gold decoration.
About 72 guests were seated at round tables on golden bamboo chairs.
(Your pool and other reporters were sent first to a kids’ nursery to await the start of the event, then ushered into an elaborate, draped waiting room with paintings of a variety of dogs.)
In the atrium, House Minority Leader Pelosi introduced Obama, saying, “This is a president who has met the challenges of our time.’’
Among those challenges, she said, was the challenge of “civility, bipartisanshp … of putting America first.”
She lauded his “endless courtesy,” and his manner of “listening” to all sides. But she said: “He just has a group of people there who do not share his commitment to civility.”
“We want to win so that he can have his agenda…his legacy,” she said, mentioning gun control, climate change, immigration reform, as among key issues to tackle.
The President was met by a standing ovation from the crowd.
“I was first here in 2008 when I was running the first time … I had much less grey hair then,” he said.
He acknowledged Rep. Steve Israel, the DCCC chair, in the audience.
“I’m here because your neighbor told me I need to be here,” he said to laughs, motioning to Pelosi. “There are very few people in public office that I am more fond of, and respect more.”
“She is thoughtful, she is visionary, she is tough as nails, she is practical…she never lets ideology cloud her judgment,’’ he said.
“I’m just so proud to call her a friend,” he said. “I am here because my job is not simply to occupy the Oval Office. My job is to move the country forward, and I think we can best do that if Nancy Pelosi is Speaker.”
Obama’s speech at the Getty home generally mirrored his earlier address at the home of Tom Steyer in Sea Cliff.
He talked at length about citizenship, and its role in changing the culture, and key issues.
The same folks who say that “government is distant” are “the same folks who claim the Founders,’’ he said. “And yet, when I read the Declaration of Independence, when I read the Constitution….what I see is this central idea that citizenship means we are the government: the government of, and by and for the people…which means we have responsibilities beyond voting, or even writing a check.”
He cited the government’s new investment in research to map the brain as “an entire sweeping horizon when it comes to curing a Alzheimer’s and curing Parkinson’s…to do things we couldn’t even imagine 2 years ago.
Now we’re on the threshold of cracking a code that will open up endless possibilities,” he said.
The president did vary from the remarks at his first fundraiser when he noted he recently saw the new movie, “42,’’ about the life of baseball player Jackie Robinson.
“I usually don’t plug movies, but I strongly recommend people take their kids and their grandkids,’’ he said. He was moved, he said, to host the ballplayer’s widow at the showing, adding that “in her lifetime, she saw her husband being the first African American to play in Major League baseball, and now she’s sitting here with me in the White House.’’
And he noted that at the previous fundraiser at Steyer’s house, singer Brandi Carlisle “was there with her wife. And she got married the day I announced I supported same sex marriage.’’
“She’s a young woman, and I’m assuming she’s thinking about all the people fighting the good fights — not just at Stonewall, but well before that.’’
“So, generation after generation, we just plug away, and sometimes, we make progress,’’ he said. “And suddenly, there’s a breakthrough … the culture just shifts.”
Motorcade was met all along the way back to South of Market by fairly large crowds, snapping photos and waving.