Obama’s Kenwood plans: Some home cooking, yard work, ‘sleeping in my bed’
By ABDON M. PALLASCH Political Reporteremail@example.com June 1, 2012 9:58PM
President Barack Obama greets a small crowd after arriving at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Friday, June, 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)
Updated: July 7, 2012 8:05AM
It’s Europe’s fault in part, President Barack Obama told supporters in Chicago Friday night as he explained the sluggishness of America’s economy to heal itself.
“We saw that in today’s jobs report,” Obama said of the 8.2 percent unemployment rate released Friday. “Yes, a lot of that is attributable to Europe and the cloud that’s coming over from the Atlantic, and the whole world economy has been weakened by it.”
At a separate event, he added, “The essence of this campaign is going to be the economy.”
Obama made his third fund-raising visit of the year to Chicago Friday night, collecting about $3 million for his re-election campaign from supporters at three events.
Then he headed to Kenwood to spend a night in his own bed, a privilege he had lamented was not afforded to him in his last visit to Chicago for the NATO Summit two weeks ago.
“Ah, it is good to be back home — I am sleeping in my bed tonight,” Obama said to 350 clapping fans at the Cultural Center. “I’m going to go into my kitchen; I might cook something for myself. Putter around in the backyard a little bit ... The White House is nice, but I’m just leasing.”
Obama gave warm welcomes to Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Gov. Pat Quinn. His other former chief of staff Bill Daley and Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett accompanied him. Bulls Coach Tom Thibodeau attended one fund-raiser.
Obama warned that his Republican opponent Mitt Romney would be a president for the rich: “He’s achieved great personal success, seems to have a wonderful family — God bless them. But the vision that he has for this country, like the vision that Republicans in Congress have for this country, is exactly the vision that got us into this mess in the first place.
“Their basic philosophy is ... that if we just let everybody be on their own, that somehow we’re going to be better off. ... As I was coming down the lakefront today and thinking about Daniel Burnham and ‘Make No Little Plans,’ we understand that when we build our infrastructure and great roads and railways, and the 21st century broadband lines and wireless and high-speed rail, that that’s what helped drive us as an economic superpower.”
From that $2,500-a-ticket event, Obama went to more exclusive $35,800-a-plate dinners.
The first was at the home of Skadden, Aarps Partner Chaka Patterson, a former vice-president of Exelon.
The second was at the Gold Coast home of Crown Family scion Jim Crown, where Obama thanked the whole Crown family and real estate mogul Neil Bluhm for years of support.
The take from all three events was expected to total about $3 million.