Jay Jacobs didn’t hear any complaining from the die-hard Democrats who attended President Obama’s $30,800 dinner in Harlem on Tuesday night.
“People can grumble all they want up until the president walks in a room,” said Jacobs, who chairs the state Democratic committee, in addition to being a high-profile party fundraiser. “Believe me, it’s unbelievable how grumbling just dissipates.”
As I reported last night, among the 50 or so supporters who attended the intimate dinner were at least a few donors who had previously expressed their dissatisfaction with President Obama–a development that other Obama supporters took as a sign that the criticism from the financial services sector had largely subsided.
Jacobs added that he didn’t hear any grumbling even before the president arrived.
“I was at the cocktail hour before and everyone was very upbeat about Barack Obama and the job he’s done,” he said.
Jacobs said he thought Obama was particularly good in the 10 to 15 minutes he spent answering questions at his table on Tuesday night, on everything from whether his action in Libya set a precedent (no) to whether the U.S. remains the global economic leader, given the slumping economy and how much of our national debt is owned by other countries (yes).
“I thought the president was on his game,” Jacobs said.
“The sense that I had from everybody, was that they were excited to be there, they support him, they were looking forward to this election,” he said. “A number of people were already talking about raising money for him, for the campaign, once the campaign kicks off.”
The president was feeling good too, despite polls still showing him tight with a number of Republican challengers.
“I think the president was pretty confident that the trending is in the right direction on the economy and on jobs. Not where we want to be yet. But he feels the American people will understand the trending.”
Jacobs said there was likely to be another New York event sometime toward the end of April, and said he expects the donor community to rally around the president.
“As far as raising money, everybody’s got to do their part,” he said. “I’ve done it in the past, I’m going to do it again. And I think everyone in that room felt very much the same way.”
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