Pool reports from President Obama’s SF fundraisers

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.

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

    Saw a TV spot on the anti-Keystoners—same old sad sacks, losers past their sell-by date and suburban mommies who “feel strongly”
    About issues in the news.

  • GV Haste

    Despite an “aggressive agenda” by Republicans, he said, “We’ve been able to reduce carbon emissions in this country”

    What a load of baloney. Carbon emmissions haven’t gone down at all except to the degree the economy tanked and driving was temporairly reduced.

    Nationally and world wide, carbon emmissions are growing every single year with absolutely no end in site. A single month’s growth in China’s emissions overwhelms all the proposed savings under consideration.
    They are building a new full scale coal powered electric plant every single week.

    What baloney he spouts.

  • Elwood

    @ G V Haste

    Are you saying our President is full of shit?

  • GV Haste

    No, I voted for him. I expect him to approve the pipeline.

    I’m just saying what he is saying about the reductions is mostly a myth.
    Similar to the myth that is spouted by all those who make goals of actual reductions by 2020, by 2030 and such.

    The actual reality is that the output of global warming gases is increasing at a increasing rate all over the world.
    The goals for California won’t be met and even if they were, just a couple months growth in China’s output will more than offset all of California’s goals for 10 years.

    Anti-global warming proponents seem to never do the math for other nations.
    Tell them the output of one new Chinese coal fired plant and then compare it with their goals. They are in denial.
    China is building a new coal plant every week.

    One positive thing Obama has done is to really boost the future MPG standards.
    But meanwhile, there are almost 10 million mostly NEW first time car owners every year in China.

    China is truly a stewing pot of gases. Growing at a tremendous pace.
    I don’t know the answer, but its not to crush our nation with regulations while we import all the goods from China where they are made without similar regulations on greenhouse gases.
    We are only exporting the pollution temporairly until the wind blows it back to us,

    Obama’s remarks were for the crowd of donors.
    Give em what they want. Send them home happy.

  • Elwood

    My analysis is much more succinct.

    And correct.

    Occam’s razor, you know.

  • JohnW

    @4 GV Haste

    Good point about boosting MPG standards. BHO legitimately gets credit for pushing hard on that, and the auto companies are on track to deliver. Big payoff not just on emissions but also in terms of how much of the family budget will be required to fuel autos. I’m not against Keystone, but I don’t see it doing much if anything for consumers.

  • bbox231

    @5 – Obama’s full of shit at times.

    And, isn’t that the nature of politics?

    But, what’s the alternative?

    Mitt? Sarah?! Meg???!!

  • Josey

    Obama is full of it. While the U.S. is struggling he is golfing, fund raising, traveling, and spending like no tomorrow. Our children will pay dearly for his inability to lead. He seems to be on a self centered vacation while the country relies on public assistance.

  • Elwood
  • JohnW

    @8 Josey

    There’s plenty to criticize Obama or any other president about. But dinging them about golf or vacations is BS. No president is ever really on vacation, just because they get away from the White House, whether it’s for R&R or campaigning.

    But, if you want to go there, let’s consider the facts. According to one article I consulted, Obama played 104 rounds of Golf through August 4th of his first term. That’s less than Bill Clinton and nowhere close to being in the same league with IKE, who played 800 rounds in 8 years. Then, there is the current Speaker of the House, who told Golf Digest that he plays “upwards of 100 rounds per year.”

    As for vacation, Obama’s first term included 72 vacation days plus 54 days at Camp David. Combined, that’s basically 4 months in 4 years. In his 8 years, Reagan spent 436 days at his ranch and Camp David. Bush 43 spend 490 days at his ranch and 487 days on vacation at Kennebunkport and elsewhere. Stated another way, Bush spent a third of his time on vacation. Maybe Obama needs to buy a ranch.

    As for “spending like no tomorrow,” non-military discretionary spending as a share of GDP is the lowest it has been since Eisenhower and continuing to shrink. Non-discretionary spending for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid is baked into the law and is not the result of any Obama policies or decisions. Those programs plus interest on the debt and benefits for veterans and federal retirees account for more than half of federal spending.