By Sam Youngman - 07/16/09 04:51 PM EDT
HOLMDEL, N.J. — President Obama helped raise more than $1 million for New jersey's embattled governor, Jon Corzine, at a
fundraising reception here Thursday, the Corzine
Obama raised the money for both Corzine and the New Jersey State Democratic Committee.
Obama praised Corzine, thanking him as "somebody who had faith and confidence in me before I was a United States senator." Corzine was chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) when Obama ran for the Senate in 2004.
After the reception, Corzine and Obama moved next door to an amphitheater and a cheering crowd of more than 17,000, some waving signs that read "Obama and Corzine: Working together to keep New Jersey working."
The president pivoted quickly, however, from talking up Corzine to pushing his healthcare plan at a pep rally as Obama moved into a posture reminiscent of last year's campaign.
The president was scheduled to go from the rally to Manhattan to deliver remarks to the 100th anniversary convention of the NAACP.
White House spokesman Bill Burton told reporters aboard Air Force One that the president had been working on the NAACP speech for about two weeks.
"It's about, in large part, the courage that it took to start the NAACP 100 years ago, and some of the things that they've gone through in the organization and in the community and what the next 100 years looks like," Burton said.
The president held a roundtable interview on the flight from Washington to New York City with a group of journalists with specifically black audiences.
According to a report from one of the participants, Obama said that the most important issue facing black America is closing the education achievement gap.