President Barack Obama returned to the Northwest for
another series of political fundraisers on Thursday.
The president received loud cheers when he said he was glad to be back in Seattle. His speech touched on many hot topics of the election, including division in congress, treatment of veterans, his opponent Mitt Romney – and of course, the economy.
“Too many of friends, too many of our family are still out their looking for work. Too many homes are still underwater. Too many states are still laying off teachers and first responders,” Obama said. “A crisis this deep didn’t start overnight, and we understand it won’t be solved overnight.”
But the most anticipated topic was that of gay marriage.
“You should be able to give your kids a chance to do better than you,” Obama said on stage at the Paramount Theatre. “No matter who you are, no matter where you come from, no matter what you look like, no matter what your last name, no matter who you love.”
Obama’s support of same-sex marriage was the first of its kind of a sitting president. A portion of the ABC interview where Obama first labeled his support of same-sex marriage aired
Thursday morning on “Good Morning, America.” When asked if the statement was a part of his re-election strategy, the
president replied, “It would be hard to argue that somehow
this is something that I’d be doing for political
advantage because frankly, the politics, it’s not clear
how they’re going to cut.”
Washington state has had domestic partnership laws since 2007, and in 2009, voters passed an “everything but marriage” expansion of that law, which was ultimately upheld by voters after a referendum challenge. Earlier this year the Legislature approved gay marriage.
Opponents of the new law said this week they have more than half of the signatures they need to qualify a proposed referendum seeking to overturn the measure. Backers of Referendum 74 need 120,577 valid voter signatures.
Obama was expected to collect at least $3 million toward
his re-election effort from the events in Seattle.
He appeared at two events while in the Puget
Sound area. The president’s first stop was a brunch in
at the home of longtime Democratic Party contributors Ann
and Bruce Blume. Attendance was $36,000 a couple.
Restaurateur and 97.3 KIRO
FM Seattle Kitchen host Tom Douglas prepared
the food for the event.
He told 97.3 KIRO FM Seattle’s Morning News that this will
be the fifth time he’s cooked for Obama.
“He’s a big fan of our coconut cream pie.”
Obama then headed for the Paramount Theatre where attendees paid $1,000 a head. This
event included a performance
from Seattle musician Dave Matthews. A photo reception was
also available for attendees at the event who contributed
$5,000 or more to the campaign.
The money raised from the events will go to the Obama Victory Fund, a
joint fundraising committee authorized by Obama for
America, the Democratic National Committee, and several
state Democratic parties.
Obama’s visit ended around 4 p.m., when Air Force One left Boeing Field Thursday evening to head to a fundraiser at the Los Angeles
home of movie star George Clooney. That event was expected to raise close to $15 million.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.