“One of the proudest things of my three years in office is helping to restore a sense of respect for America around the world -- a belief that we are not just defined by the size of our military, despite the incredible feats of our military and the incredible sacrifices of our men and women in uniform, but we’re also defined by our values, and our respect for rule of law, and our willingness to help countries in need,” Obama said. “We’ve got to preserve that, and we’ve got to build on that.”
The president also counted among his accomplishments the passage of health care “reform,” lifting the ban on homosexuals in the military, and financial overhaul legislation, all of which he signed into law.
The fundraising event was held at the home of Bradley and Colleen Bell, in the Holmby Hills section of Los Angeles. The Foo Fighters performed and actors Jack Black and Rashida Jones spoke. The outdoor event was attended by about 1,000 supporters, with the general admission cost of $500, according to the White House press pool report.
The president later attended a more intimate event inside the home of the Bell family, with about 80 people, at a cost of $35,800 per person. Money raised from both events goes to the Obama Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee of Obama for America and the Democratic National Committee.
The president was attending fundraising events in the San Francisco area on Thursday.
At the private event in the Bells’ home, Obama told his supporters he’s been thanked by U.S. troops for lifting the ban on homosexuals in the military:
“We said that it shouldn’t matter who you love if you want to serve the country you love, and we ended don’t-ask-don’t-tell,” Obama said.
“And I was telling the folks outside about the fact that when I was out in Kaneohe Marine Base, working out with Marines -- which is a bad idea because they’re in better shape than you are -- on three separate occasions, the Marines came up and said, ‘Thank you for ending don’t-ask-don’t-tell.”
“And you know what? I didn’t even ask them, did it apply to you, because it didn’t matter. The point was, they understood that the integrity of our armed forces would be enhanced, not debilitated, when we got rid of that law.”