President Barack Obama told donors at an exclusive Hollywood fundraiser for the Democratic Party that he needed their help to undo the “frustration” of politics in Washington. There is “an anxiety, and a sense of frustration,” the president–now in his sixth year of office–complained, according to a report in Variety, adding that “the challenges out there remain daunting and we have a Washington that’s not working.”
In repeated fundraising trips to California over the past two years, Obama has repeatedly cast Republicans as the chief obstacle to progress in Washington, imploring donors to help restore Democrats to complete control of Capitol Hill. In February 2013, flush with the optimism of his recent re-election, Obama even predicted that former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi would be restored to her position after the 2014 midterm vote.
That prospect now looks impossible, and Democrats are widely considered likely to lose control of the Senate as well. Obama’s own approval rating has crashed as a result of repeated confrontations with Congress, broken promises on health insurance, a string of scandals, and a slew of foreign policy setbacks. Still, he told donors in L.A. that “the principal reason” for the lack of progress “is that there is just a fundamental difference in what we as Democrats believe and what this particular brand of Republicans that we’ve got in Congress believes.”
Obama delivered his remarks at the private home of Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn before proceeding to an awards gala at the USC Shoah [Holocaust] Foundation, where he received an honor from Steven Spielberg–and delivered remarks that evoked a similar tone of frustration and “powerlessness.”