A fundraising trip to his hometown of Chicago had President Obama feeling nostalgic and wistful for a time he didn’t “look like Morgan Freeman.”
The president poked fun at the years the presidency had aged him while meeting with donors at a high-dollar fundraiser held in the Chicago mansion of energy magnate Michael Polsky.
Obama said he was glad to catch up with old friends assembled at the reception, where tickets ranged between $1,000 and $35,000 to benefit the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
“I’m looking around and I see a lot of friends,” Obama said. “All of you look the same, and I look like Morgan Freeman.”
As at other recent fundraisers, the president complained that Republicans in Congress were preventing him from achieving his legislative goals.
“The problem is a group of Republicans who have taken over and are so ideologically rigid — they deny climate change, block raising the minimum wage and scoff at the notion that it might be a problem to pay women less for the same work as men,” Obama said.
But Obama also warned that Democrats tend not to turn out to vote in midterms and that if they lost the Senate this year and failed to make gains in the House, immigration reform might not get done.
“That cannot happen in this election because the stakes are too high,” Obama said.
Polsky, who hosted the event, memorably made headlines in 2007 when he was ordered to pay his ex-wife, Maya Polsky, $184 million in a divorce settlement, the largest in U.S. history at that point.