President Obama dropped in Tuesday night on friends in backcountry Greenwich for dinner and a big-ticket fundraiser benefitting Democratic U.S. Senate candidates. Admission ranged from $10,000 to $32,400.
His falling approval ratings make him a risky headliner at public rallies this year, but Obama has been a prolific rainmaker for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and its efforts to hang onto a narrow majority in the U.S. Senate.
His intimate dinner at the home of Richard Richman and Ellen Schapps Richman, who hosted a similar event in 2010 when Richard Blumenthal was running for the seat held by the retiring Sen. Chris Dodd, was the 17th event he’s done for the DSCC this cycle.
Obama held two fundraisers in Manhattan for the Democratic National Committee, then flew by helicopter to the Greenwich Polo Club within the gated confines of Conyer Farms. A motorcade took him to the $26 millon estate of the Richmans.
“These guys have been supporters since way back before a lot of people could pronounce my name,” Obama said, recycling a line employed four years ago at the same home.
Blumenthal and Sen. Chris Murphy, who succeeded Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman in 2012, were among the guests, as was the chairman of the committee, Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy did not attend.
Connecticut has no Senate race this year, a respite after expensive fights for open seats in 2010 and 2012.
Obama told the dinner guests during brief remarks open to pool reporters that the U.S. is creating more jobs than Japan, Europe and the rest of the industrialized nations combined.
“Our deficit’s been cut in half. Our energy production has never been more robust,” Obama said.
But he said he understood anxiety over the economy.
“So folks still feel as if no matter how hard they work, they don’t seem to be moving ahead,” Obama said. “Most folks in this room are doing pretty well.”
Obama said the U.S. role in the world has not diminished.
“On every issue it’s American leadership that’s mobilizing the international community,” Obama said. “Whether it’s a typhoon or an earthquake or political breakdown they don’t call Beijing, they don’t call Moscow, they call us.”
The reporters were ushered from the room as Obama took questions from the guests.
Obama was on the ground in Greenwich for little more than two hours.
This article was based on White House press pool reports.