As of Friday morning, the President has cleared his schedule and is enroute back to D.C. after completing a two-day West Coast tour. The trip was a six-stop swing across California and Nevada that included a $35,000-a-plate Hollywood fundraiser, a social media town hall with a casually-dressed Mark Zuckerberg, a renewable energy meeting in Reno, and a breakfast fundraiser in San Fransisco where he was inexplicably serenaded.
But aside from learning that the President is "psyched" for Spiderman 4, didn't get to pump his own gas at the gas station, measures his Facebook fanpage against Spongebob Squarepants, and is proud that he got Zuckerberg to wear a tie, what can we take away from this Pacific jaunt? Well, for starters:
- He Took Home Million of Dollars In Fundraising About $7 million estimated a USC political scientist cited by the Christian Science Monitor. "California has always been the ATM for American politics, particularly for Democrats. And right now, the state likes Obama more than the nation does," she explained. Reuters pegged the fundraising total lower, at around $2 million.
- He Honed a Talking Point and Kept Dismissing Birthers: In 2008, "none of you asked for my birth certificate. It was a complete leap of faith," the President said in a line that drew laughs at a Los Angeles fundraiser. He also, as Reuters Front Row blog pointed out, seemed as if he's starting to portray himself as an underdog in this election, describing 2012 as "just as hard, if not harder" than the last election.
- He Stressed the Necessity of Low Gas Prices: This is a big one, especially for gas-guzzling Californians. At a town-hall meeting at a renewable energy plant in Reno, Nevada he explained that the Justice Department will look to "root out" illegal manipulation in oil markets, the Associated Press reported. "We are going to make sure that no one is taking advantage of the American people for their own short-term gain," he said.
- He Directly Addressed All Those Grumbling Celebrities: At the Sony pictures back lot in Culver City and a private event at the Tavern restaurant in Brentwood, the President did his best to assuage the concerns of all those grumbling celebrities who've voiced disappointment in his agenda so far.The Los Angeles Times teased out the self-deprecating line:
"I know who you all are. I know the conversations you've been having: 'Oh, I don't know. I don't like that compromise with the Republicans. I don't know, that healthcare thing — why did it take so long? I don't know, Obama, he's older now. He used to look so fresh and exciting. I still have that poster, but I don't know.'