Ask not what your country can do for you

Obama greets audience members after speaking at a fundraiser in Seattle.

Obama greets audience members after speaking at a fundraiser in Seattle.

How much would you pay to support President Obama at an event where you could meet him and hear him speak? How about $1,400 (the cost of attending Tuesday’s fundraiser in Seattle, Washington)? What about $30,400 (the suggested ticket price to attend Vogue Editor Anna Wintour’s dinner with Obama last month)?

Fundraising is part of the president’s unofficial job description. This week Obama’s schedule has been packed with fundraising appearances, including two for elected state officials while he was in Seattle Tuesday. At these functions, attendees are encouraged to make contributions to the Democratic Party, and Obama speaks to supporters about his policy and goals.

Fundraising is especially critical now with midterm elections approaching this November and with Obama’s approval rating having dipped to its lowest weekly average last week, according to a recent Gallup poll.

These events are not just about raising funds—they’re about raising support.

So in the spirit of President John F. Kennedy’s famous quote, “Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country,” Obama’s speech at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee finance event in Los Angeles, California Monday contained the following message:

“We’re going to move this country forward with your help, but we are going to need your help. We’re going to need your phone calls. We are going to need your knocking on doors. We need your enthusiasm. We need your spirit. We need your confidence that we can continue to make this country even better than it already is. All right? And if everybody here is able to marshal that spirit once again, I’m absolutely positive we’re not just going to do well in this election, we’re going to do right by the next generation.”

What’s your reaction?