President Barak Obama points to Joe Sestak and praises him for his decades of service to the country.
Convention Center Democratic fundraiser
President Barack Obama is getting his groove back, and Joe Sestak, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, was the beneficiary last night. Hundreds of party faithfuls bought $250 tickets to see Obama and Sestak at a huge reception in the Convention center, while well-heeled supporters were escorted into the $1000 VIP reception. Then there was a private dinner for the very highest-priced tickets. While waiting for Obama to land in Philly, a string of luminaries spoke to the crowd, reiterating what has become a disciplined Democratic theme: get out the vote, hold onto the House and the Senate, support Obama’s initiatives, and make certain that Pennsylvania ends up with two Democratic Senators after this November’s election. Making the point and leading the crowd in energetic chants of “Go, Joe!” were Pat Croce, the ultimate cheerleader; Governor Ed Rendell; Senator Bob Casey; Congressman Bob Brady; and Mayor Michael Nutter.
Among the Sestak supporters waiting for the senate candidate and President Obama to arrive Monday at the Convention Center are AFT-PA union officials, (left to right) Jerry Jordan, Ted Kirsch and Arlene Freedman.
When President Obama and Admiral Sestak appeared on stage, they were greeted with overwhelming cheers and applause. Obama used the occasion to praise and endores Sestak, and then he reiterated th themes which he has recently bugan talking about in an effort to bolster the Democratic Party base. He told an anecdote which other Democrats have used in the past month, saying, “When you want to go forward in a car, you put the gear into ‘D.’ When you want to go backwards, you push ‘R.’ It’s not a coincidence.” The audience recognized instantly that “D” was for “Democratic” and “R” was for “Republican.”
Obama reminded the audience that not a single Republican had voted for the stimulus bill or for the jobs bill, and that the Republican agenda has not changed in decades: they want to privatize Social Security, despite what has happened to the stock market in the past two years, and they want to remove all regulations on financial institutions, despite the bank disaster which still has the economy struggling.
Obama gave shoppers at the Reading Terminal Market a thrill before crossing the street to the fundraiser, stopping to buy cheese steaks and, in deference to the First Lady’s push for healthy eating, some apples as well.
Photos and copy by Bonnie Squires.