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Obama agenda: Star-studded NYC fundraisers

“President Obama, in his second visit in about three months to the election battleground state of New Hampshire, fired back [yesterday] at intensifying criticism from his Republicans rivals over his energy policy and rising gas prices,” the Boston Globe writes.

That night, “President Obama swooped into the city Thursday night to stuff his campaign coffers with cash while his GOP rivals slogged for votes ahead of Super Tuesday,” the New York Daily News reports. “Obama attended four fund-raisers and was expected to rake in between $4 million and $5 million. The big-ticket event was a $35,000-a-plate dinner at ABC Kitchen, an E. 18th St. organic restaurant run by celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. After that, Obama moved to the nearby ABC Carpet & Home showroom, where the young, hip-looking crowd was hosted by “Parks and Recreation” star Aziz Ansari and jammed to music by The Roots and Ben Folds.” An earlier event was hosted at a Manhattan penthouse.

According to a pool report, at one of the events was fashion designer Michael Kors and singer John Legend. Obama said the following, “It is a special treat for me because as some of you know Michael has been redesigning the White House. And he has some strong opinions. And sometimes doesn't always agree with my taste. So it’s good to come to his house and critique it." Then pointing to a wall mirror, he kidded, "I don't know about this thing here."

Obama also said of Legend, “I also want to announce because John Legend is here, I will not sing tonight.” Legend responded, “Don't steal my job.” 

NBC’s Shawna Thomas reports the president touted recent economic progress, but blamed Republicans for not cooperating. “The good news is, we've made incredible progress,” Obama said, per remarks released by the White House. “The bad news is, is that we haven't had much cooperation from the other side.”

Then he joked about the content of his ads this fall… “I recommend you watch the recent debates.  We're thinking about just running those as advertisements -- little snippets, without commentary. We'll just sort of -- here you go, this is what they said a while back.”

He then called the election a “fundamental choice,” between one that is “generous and inclusive” versus one “that is narrow and cramped … and is satisfied if a few people are doing very, very well at the very top and everybody else is struggling.”