Obama then headed to the home of Dallas lawyer Peter Kraus for a $15,000 per head event to raise money for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
“The way the political system works right now, it is biased and skewed away from common sense. The electorate has gotten more polarized, the media has gotten more polarized. Being extreme, being controversial tends to get you on TV and get your name out there. If you’re just being sensible and saying, well, let’s try to work together across the aisle, then you know you’re going to live in obscurity,” he said.
Of the shutdown, he said, “we’ve got to liberate those reality-based Republicans from some of the extreme impulses in that party.”
“But if they don’t see a cost for those kinds of strategies, then they’ll keep doing it. And the only way to extract a cost when it comes to politicians is during election time.”
Obama then went to the home of trial lawyer Russell Budd for an intimate reception with 25 guests, where he gave brief remarks before the media was ushered out of the gathering of the bigwig donors.
Here he said that the lesson of the year — the first of his second term — showed “that although the American people are full of common sense, and in their workplaces and in their families and their congregations, on the soccer fields and all the various parts of their life, they’re looking out for one another and they’re making good decisions and are resilient in the face of challenges, that’s not very often reflected in Washington.”
“The only way that we can realign our politics so that it matches up with the decency and goodness of the American people is if elections matter, and we’re able to both deliver a message and organize ourselves so that folks who aren’t acting responsibly pay a consequence, and that we’re lifting up and rewarding candidates who are serious about the challenges this country faces and are willing to work together in a spirit that is constructive in order to deliver for the American people.”
That, Obama continued, is “what 2012 was about, and that’s what 2014 was about, and I suspect that’s what 2016 is going to be about.”
“And I have to say that I’m a proud Democrat and am committed to the values that the Democratic Party represents, but I’m also interested in getting the Republican Party back in a functioning state. Because this country has two parties, and we need both of them operating in a way that allows us to move forward,” he said. “And I think that will eventually happen. Voters have an ability I think to help parties self-correct, although sometimes it takes more than one cycle to do it. But in the meantime, we can’t just be standing still.”
I cannot recall any prior POTUS ever publicly announcing that he was gonna remake the opposing party. Especially not one that was below 40% in approval ratings.
And in Texas no less!