ARLINGTON, Virginia (CNN) – Barack Obama told donors at a Monday night fundraiser just across the Potomac River from Washington that “the odds of us winning are very good."
Obama was reflecting on how far the campaign had come since its early days when, “Let’s face it, there weren’t too many of y’all who thought we were going to pull this off,” he said to laughter.
“What I knew and I think those who joined us early knew was that this was a moment for change, this was a moment for big ideas and really trying to push the envelope,” said Obama. “And people have responded all across the country. We are now in a position where the odds of us winning are very good. But it’s still going to be difficult.”
The Illinois senator spoke to a dinner of about 40 people, each of whom was expected to raise $114,000. After thanking his hosts, he opened by talking about last week’s trip to the Middle East and Europe and “the enormous hunger for American leadership.”
He segued from the importance of strong international relations to domestic issues, commenting briefly on his early afternoon roundtable with top economic advisers including Warren Buffett (by speakerphone), former Fed chairman Paul Volcker and Google CEO Eric Schmidt.
“Almost uniformly people said the crisis we’re in right now, the difficulties we’re in right now are as significant and as severe as they’ve seen in a very long time and we’re not going to be able to work our way out of it overnight.”
“Rather than succumb to pessimism we’ve got to think about how we take the problems that we’re having right now and turn them into opportunities,” he added.
Closing his brief remarks, Obama addressed the reason he hasn’t seen a surge in the polls following extensive coverage of his overseas trip, arguing that voters are still sizing him up and that his candidacy is "new for them, new for us as a country."
“This is going to be a close election for a long time because I’m new on the national scene and people sort of like what they see but they’re still not sure,” he concluded.