Obama Talks About Middle East and Taxes at Morning Fund-Raiser

Barack Obama continued his fund-raising sweep through New York by holding court early this morning in a gilded room at the Metropolitan Club, where hundreds of businessmen questioned the Senator about education, the Middle East, and healthcare, according to a source at the event.

Obama was apparently looking to make the most of his time in New York as the suggested donation was $2,300 — the most a single contributor can give towards the primary race.

Obama spoke on a podium for about 20 minutes before taking some questions from the crowd, which included some hedge fund heavy hitters and present and former Goldman Sachs executives.

When asked about the situation in the Middle East, according to the attendee, Obama said both the Israeli and Palestinian governments could do with some new leadership. He pointed out that the Israeli Prime Minister had been significantly weakened, and that the Palestinian leadership had "failed" the Palestinian people.

He was also asked how he'd improve education. He stressed that teachers deserved more pay and respect, but that their unions could also benefit from reform.

And with so many hedge fund managers and bankers in the crowd, he was asked about tax policy. He told the crowd of wealthy (if liberally inclined) investors that he wants to roll back many of President Bush's tax cuts.