Despite ‘shortage of common sense’ in D.C., Obama expresses optimism
May 19th, 2013
04:14 PM ET
11 months ago

Despite ‘shortage of common sense’ in D.C., Obama expresses optimism

(CNN) – Obama kicked off his fundraising tour for the Senate Democratic campaign arm on Sunday with a speaking gig in Atlanta, his first of six events for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

During his brief remarks, the president reported on the divisive political climate in the nation’s capital, saying “partisan thinking” has dominated Washington and added the country needs to elect more people "who are not ideological."

Obama largely stayed on message about his goals for the economy, education, health care costs and energy. He said reform can take place only if policy can trump politics.

“We've got good, common-sense solutions that we can implement right now,” he said during a 15-minute speech at the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation office. But, he added, the bad news is “there’s a shortage of common sense in Washington.”

About 100 people were slated to attend, with ticket prices amounting to $10,000 per couple for attendees and $32,400 per couple for hosts. The president stopped by shortly after delivering the commencement address at the historically black, all-male Morehouse College.

He linked his fundraiser remarks to the graduates he just spoke to, saying “sometimes you feel as if Washington is impeding rather than advancing the possibilities that these young people represent.”

Despite the recent onslaught of controversies plaguing his administration, the president expressed some optimism that Washington can tackle legislative action, especially on immigration.

“Doesn’t mean that there aren't going to be politics involved; it doesn’t mean that there are not going to be some rough and tumble,” he said, though later adding there is one “upshot.”

“Despite sometimes the doom and gloom of what you hear emanating out of Washington, you should be optimistic about this country,” he said. “I sure am.”

One of his sources for optimism is the chance to make Democratic gains in Congress next year. Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia announced earlier this year he would not be seeking re-election. With Chambliss out of the picture for 2014, DSCC Chairman Michael Bennet told the audience that the open seat “presents us with the greatest opportunity for a pickup."

"If we get a critical mass in the Senate and we can potentially get a critical mass of folks like that in the House, means that the sky is the limit,” Obama added. “Nothing can stop us.”

Democrats will be defending 21 of the 35 Senate seats up for grabs in November 2014. As of now, six Democrats have announced plans not to seek re-election, including three from right-leaning states. On the Republican side, two senators have said they plan to retire after they finish their term.

The Republican primary in Georgia is already starting to look a bit crowded, with Reps. Paul Broun, Phil Gingrey and Jack Kingston all having announced their Senate bids.

Democrats have yet to see a candidate declare a bid for the seat, though some potential contenders include Michelle Nunn (daughter of former Sen. Sam Nunn), Rep. Sanford Bishop and former Sen. Max Cleland.

Reps. John Barrow and Jim Marshall declined to run for the seat, as did Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.

A Quinnipiac University poll released earlier this month showed that, by a narrow margin, American voters say they are more likely to vote Democratic than Republican for 2014 congressional candidates, 41% to 37%. The 4-percentage point difference falls within the poll's sampling error.

Democratic Party officials told CNN in February the president would hold 14 fundraising events this year for congressional Democrats, 10 of which would take place outside Washington.


Filed under: DSCC • Georgia • President Obama
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Richard Long

    "Obama kicked off his fundraising tour..."
    the Fundraiser-In-Chief doing the only thing he is good at... fundraising; a whole tour of fundraising for that matter.

    We need a real president, not a community organizer.

    May 19, 2013 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  2. Thomas

    LOUIE GOHMERT / RICK PERRY 2016
    ‘shortage of common sense’

    May 19, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  3. Name willard

    President obama administraion is guilty of more than incompetence the case of the benghizain attack yhat resluste in the death of ambassdor chris steve and three othe amercian
    I am belived that clinton hillary are stupaid that she was accpet keep her respossbity from presdient obama

    May 19, 2013 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  4. Pete

    Common sense,that's been lacking along with bipartisanship since Pres.Obama was inaugerated..When will republicans get off their high horses and work for a common cause that does makes CENTS as well as dollars..Pass a jobs bill and some infastructure bills as well and you'll see peoples hopes soar like in the days of Bill Clinton remember republicans when everybody didn't mind paying taxes because everybody had a job that paid !!So to all republicans send letters to your senators,congressman you voted for and tell them to get to work because I'll do the same for my democratic reps as well!!Can't everyone just get along!

    May 19, 2013 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  5. Just

    The "nothing can stop us" remark should concern every citizen.

    May 19, 2013 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  6. Rick McDaniel

    The shortage of common sense began in the WH, and has now permeated the entire administration.

    May 19, 2013 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  7. James

    Obama, you are the one with no common sense. Go back to the White House and play with your Tinker Toys–You won't get anything done in Congress anyway–No body like a liar.

    May 19, 2013 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  8. king

    lesson folks it is good that this president has optimism, but the repubs have a mission, and that is to wreck this government so that they can win election in 2014. they are trying to conjure up fake scandals to keep them from improving the country, because these scandals are not scandals but miss steps that can be fixed. first Benghazi; congress need to allocate money to fund embassy security; good luck with your right flank repubs on that one, second they need to have congressional oversight of the IRS to make sure that they're doing the right thing morally; even though they didn't commit crime, third they should put in policies so that to protect the media's first amendment rights; but they also have to protect our citizens so they need to put in provision to shield classified information from leakage, because the government number one duty is our national security, and nothing take precedent.

    May 19, 2013 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  9. jpmichigan

    We definitely have a shortage of common sense in D.C. starting with the White House. This administration strongly believes the American tax payer is so stupid to believe that none in the White House knew that conservatives were being targeted by the IRS, Democrats on the Hill wrote through letters and e-mails to look into the tea parties and any organization affiliated with Patriots and such. Where was the President the night 4 American were murdered in Benghazi? His senior advisor skipped around every where when asked the question on national television, Maybe on his way to Vegas or some where for another fund raiser. No wonder American tax payers have no confidence call on the Federal Government.

    May 19, 2013 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  10. jpmichigan

    We definitely have a shortage of common sense in D.C. starting with the White House. This administration strongly believes the American tax payer is so stupid to believe that none in the White House knew that conservatives were being targeted by the IRS, Democrats on the Hill wrote through letters and e-mails to look into the tea parties and any organization affiliated with Patriots and such. Where was the President the night 4 American were murdered in Benghazi? His senior advisor skipped around every where when asked the question on national television, Maybe on his way to Vegas or some where for another fund raiser. No wonder American tax payers have no confidence call on the Federal Government. Biggest joke is putting the Head of the Department at the time, when this disasterous deed was done in the IRS, to head the Department of Obamacare by the IRS. She should be retired, for these things happened on HER WATCH!

    May 19, 2013 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  11. S.B. Stein

    We need people who will work together so that all guys get something. Unfortunately, it seems that one person will stop from getting something because the other side will get just as much. That stops the Congress from getting work of the American people done.

    May 19, 2013 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  12. Larry L

    Americans are disgusted with the Republicans. The GOP offers nothing but obstructionism, radical ideologies, and a leadership plan based solely on fabricated scandels. They've absolutely done nothing for jobs, Social Security, healthcare, or the middle class.

    May 19, 2013 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  13. Name Uche Agonsi

    Yeah.....when Common Sense is out, ....hate politics, witch hunting, legislative gridlocks, claims of intimidation, all vices of money-based politicking, come in......US political assets need repair.

    May 19, 2013 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  14. California

    It's non existent.

    May 19, 2013 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  15. Getoverit

    After Obamacare was shoved down our throats, you can be assured there is no common sense in Washington....

    May 20, 2013 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  16. Name Uche Agonsi

    when there is no 'Tea'......there is no Party.

    May 20, 2013 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  17. Name

    my god, does he ever stop campaigning?

    May 20, 2013 06:07 am at 6:07 am |