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Obama raises money at ‘Scandal’ creator’s home

By Lesley Clark
McClatchy Washington Bureau

LOS ANGELES - President Barack Obama raised money from a Hollywood crowd here Wednesday night, joking about seeing pictures of Scandal star Kerry Washington’s new baby -- and jokingly accusing singer Janelle Monae of harboring a secret video of the president trying to outdance Usher.

Obama’s remarks at a Democratic National Committee poolside fundraiser had a serious bent, as well, as he cautioned Democrats against cynicism that he said would keep them from the polls in November.

He reiterated his lament that during midterms, "people don't even know there's an election," and noted that Republicans tend to vote in greater numbers than Democrats.

The result, he said, was “Lo and behold, we’re surprised when John Boehner is Speaker of the House. What happened to Nancy Pelosi?,” he said, mimicking surprised Democrats. “What happened is ya'll didn't vote. And that's when all kinds of .... Stuff happened. That's what it was, stuff."

Obama said the U.S. has made "remarkable progress" coming back from the recession, but added that across the country, people "still feel anxious."

He attributed the ennui to stagnant wages and “some of the turmoil around the world." But, he suggested "the conflict that probably makes people most discouraged is the conflict they see in Washington."

“No offenses, Scandal's a great show,” he said, a reference to the show rife with Washington, D.C. intrigue that is produced by his host, Shonda Rhimes. “But it's not necessarily something we want to be living out."

The Los Angeles event was Obama’s fifth fundraiser of a three-day West Coast swing. He spoke on a stage lined with U.S. and California flags and was introduced by Rhimes who said “he's been doing his job like a boss."

Obama said "there were few people who worked harder" on his campaign than Washington, and noted she had shown him pictures of her new baby. He also gave a shout out to singer Janelle Monae, joking she's played so often at the White House there should be a room named for her.

He also joked w her about her having a video of him trying to keep up with Usher on the dance floor, and joked she could “blackmail me at any time," over the video.

“I did not drop and split, but I did bust a move," he said.

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