President Barack Obama came to Northwest Philadelphia on Thursday night to attend a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee fundraiser at the Mt. Airy home of David L. Cohen, the Comcast executive vice president who served as then-Mayor Ed Rendell’s chief-of staff.
It was a return visit for Obama, for whom a fundraiser was hosted at Cohen’s house on June 30, 2011 (among several similar events).
According to pool reports, Air Force One landed at Philadelphia International Airport at 5:38 p.m. Obama’s one-man greeting committee was Mayor Michael Nutter.
He then worked a rope line, high-fiving a few youngsters along the way. The motorcade set off for Cohen’s home at 5:54 p.m., with road closures clearing the path for the 6:46 p.m. arrival.
Details from the event
Donors filled eight round tables in a large white tent in the backyard. On hand were Nutter and U.S. Sens. Bob Casey and Michael Bennet (D.- Colo.) among an estimated 120 guests at the $10,000 to $32,400 a plate dinner.
Obama entered with no announcement at 7:18 p.m. as guests were still chatting over dessert.
Cohen, the host, kicked off the remarks by saying they were able to raise more than $1 million for the DSCC. He then introduced Obama with a riff on the Passover Seder song “Dayenu,” which centers on gratitude.
“It’s not Passover and our special guest isn’t Jewish,” he said, noting that Obama hosting the first White House seder made him “our Dayenu president.”
Obama mentioned healthcare twice while pool reporters were in the room, and credited senators like Bennet and Casey for helping him pass it.
“I’ve got three years left in this office. In addition to rebuilding this website,” he said of healthcare.gov to the laughs of attendees, “I want to make sure we’re rebuilding our infrastructure all across the country. I want to make sure we’re investing in early childhood education.
“Almost everything I do depends on the hard work and cooperation of Congress,” Obama continued. “This year, and over the last three years, we’ve seen a level of polarization that seems unique.”
He spoke for about 10 minutes and emphasized the importance of a Democratic Congress when it comes to accomplishing policy goals.
“We have been blessed by a Democratic Senate,” he said. “That list of accomplishments is really a partnership.”
He noted that, in the rest of the country, “ordinary folks aren’t as polarized.”
The motorcade left Cohen’s home at 8:16 p.m. arrived at the airport at 8:42 p.m. for the return flight to Andrews Air Force Base outside of Washington D.C.