But Mr. Obama’s visit wasn’t entirely without turbulence.
At a fundraiser at ABC Carpet and Home heavy with younger, hipper donors than most big ticket campaign events –it was co-hosted by former Congressional candidate Reshma Sauani, author Deepak Chopra and rap impressario Russell Simmons–the president bragged about the United States being a “pacific power,” and was shortly thereafter called out by an audience member.
“Use your leadership,” a woman yelled. “No war with Iran.”
The president stopped his remarks to rebuke the heckler.
“Nobody has announced a war, young lady,” Mr. Obama responded, then told her that she was, “Jumping the gun a little bit.”
The woman was soon drowned out by cheers.
There were a host of local politicos in attendance last night, including Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, east side Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (who, you will recall, faced Ms. Saujani in an a fiercely fought primary in 2010) and Manhattan Democratic Party Chairman Keith Wright.
For most of his speech, Mr. Obama laid out a vigorous case for his re-election, touting the administration’s accomplishments, including reviving the auto industry, killing Osama bin Laden and achieving health care reform. He warned the crowd against going backwards to the days of tax cuts for the rich, a de-regulated Wall Street, and higher deficits.
The president acknowledged that change is hard, and that progress has been slow. He reminded the audience that as he told them in 2008, he is not a perfect man, and would not be a perfect president.
“That’s ok,” shouted one member of the audience.
“You tried your best,” screamed another.