Friday, August 5, 2011

Then it was off to two fundraisers on the North Side.


Returning to Chicago for the first time since April, Obama stepped off Air Force One at O’Hare International Airport and shared a hug with Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the president’s former chief of staff. Then it was off to two fundraisers on the North Side. Obama arrived at a dimly lit and sticky warm concert hall as Herbie Hancock performed. Some of the estimated 2,400 people in attendance, who paid at least $50, wore cone-shaped birthday hats with the number “50” and the campaign’s logo. Obama capped the evening with a dinner of 100 donors who paid $35,800 apiece and got a slice of a two-layer birthday cake from Eli's, one layer chocolate, the other carrot cake. “It’s been a long, tough year. But we have made some incredible strides together. Yes, we have. But the thing we all have to remember is, as much good as we’ve done, precisely because the challenges were so daunting, precisely because we were inheriting so many challenges, that we’re not even halfway there yet,” he said. “Now, when I said change we can believe it, I didn’t say, ‘Change we can believe in tomorrow.’ Not, ‘Change we can believe in next week,’ “ he said. “We knew this was going to take time because we’ve got this big, messy tough democracy.”
- John Byrne and Rick Pearson, The Chicago Tribune