The idea drew laughs in what was otherwise a somber speech at a
$32,400-per-ticket fundraiser for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign
Committee in the posh Upper East Side apartment of investment banker
Blair Effron, co-founder of Centerview Partners.
In the second of two fundraisers on Wednesday, Obama bemoaned how
Democrats face some "structural disadvantages" in elections -
winning with large margins in places like Brooklyn but losing to
Republicans in red states.
Obama described buying cheesecake at Junior's Restaurant in Brooklyn
in October while campaigning with Bill de Blasio two days before the
"The streets were filled, everybody was waving," he recalled,
describing being hugged by a woman whose sister got health insurance
because of Obamacare.
"'We love you - what can we do to support you?'" he recounted the
"I said, 'Move to North Dakota!"
"If I could just get about a million surplus votes in Brooklyn out
to Nebraska, Wyoming," he said, drawing laughs from the crowd of
about 50 people.
Obama has been busy on the fundraising trail ahead of November
midterm elections, where Republicans are expected to retain control
of the House of Representatives, and Democrats face a tough fight to
retain control of the Senate.
[to top of second column]
Democrats traditionally have a difficult time getting supporters
motivated to vote in midterm elections.
"We have to break that cycle," Obama said, explaining he needs a
Democratic-controlled Senate to help him advance his agenda to fight
climate change and reform immigration laws in his last two years in
office, 2015 and 2016.
"I have to have partners in Congress," he said.
(Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Ken Wills)
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.