President Obama was in New York City yesterday, causing tons of gridlock and commuting chaos, to raise money for his re-election campaign and to also take a look at 1 World Trade Center before its topping off ceremony. Obama thanked construction workers at the site, calling the building an "incredible structure... We couldn't be prouder of you guys, this is what the American spirit is all about."
Obama, who was joined by Mayor Bloomberg, NY Governor Cuomo, and NJ Governor Christie, as well as First Lady Michelle Obama, signed one of the final beams will be used in the building. Before they started to inscribe their names, OBama said, "Don't mess it up anyone," and then complimented Cuomo, "That's a nice signature!" Obama wrote, "We remember. We rebuild. we come back stronger!" while Bloomberg wrote, "Stay safe."
The President, who last visited Ground Zero in September, looked at the 9/11 Memorial site and commented about the waterfalls, “You don’t expect how powerful it is until you go down there and hear the sound of it."
Then he and the First Lady headed up to the West Village, for a glitzy, $40,000/head fundraiser at Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick's townhouse. (Dumptrucks blocked the street, sending other residents into a wine-deprived frenzy.) According to a pool report, the First Lady sat across from Bravo's Andy Cohen and other famous faces included Meryl Streep and Michael Kors. Obama said, "We’ve got as fundamental a choice this time out than we have had in 30, 40 or 50 years, what we are going to have to do is present very clearly to the American people that choice." Parker and Broderick's young son started clapping after Obama said, "GM is back on top," and Obama said, "He wanted to fire up the crowd," to which Cohen said, "He knows an applause line."
Obama had a second, $10,000/head fundraiser at the Plaza, which had Mariah Carey and Cory Booker; the two events were expected to raise over $4 million for him.