DEARBORN — "In just three years, because of what you did in 2008, we've began to see what change looks like," President Barack Obama said speaking at the Henry Ford Museum here Wednesday.
|U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at a democratic party fundraiser at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, April 18, 2012. REUTERS|
Obama said millions of young people who were not insured, now have coverage because the healthcare law allowed them to stay on their parent’s insurance plan. Throughout the speech Obama provided additional examples of how he’s delivered on his promise of change that essentially laid the foundation for his 2008 election.
He discussed standing by the auto industry, and pushing for the bailout that saved its fate. Jeff Klayo, an employee at Chrysler's Sterling Stamping Plant who was without work for six months introduced Obama. He got his job back after the bailout helped get the industry back on track.
Obama made note of other key events that have occured during his presidency including the capture and death of Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, and the end of the Iraq war.
He stated that Al-Qaeda is now weaker than ever, and there are currently no U.S. troops serving in Iraq.
The president said it was good to be in Dearborn and back in the Motor City. He thanked some of the areas elected officials including Dearborn Mayor Jack O'Reilly, Wayne County Commissioner Gary Waronchak, Congressman John Dingell D-Dearborn, his wife Debbie Dingell and Wayne County Sherriff Benny Napoleon.
"When you decided to support a candidate named Barack Hussein Obama you know the odds are not necessarily in your favor," he told the crowd.
The president didn't mention any Republicans by name, but said the last thing the country can afford is to go back to the same policies that got Americans into "this mess in the first place." "That's what these other folks running for office want to do," he said.
Obama noted that there are still too many Americans out of work. While the country is still recovering from an economic crisis, businesses have added millions of new jobs over the last few years.
The president also discussed education reform; reducing the cost of college and interest on school loans, and the deficit by eliminating programs that don’t work.
When first campaigning for president Obama said he would tackle the deficit, which has increased drastically since. Ending his speech he said change might not be coming as fast as people want it to. “Change takes time. It takes more than a term, it takes more than a single president,” he said. Arab Americans were spotted at the fundraiser too. "I'm part of the 99 percent, and I just don't feel represented by the one percent," guest Minnie Phillips of Rochester Hills said.
The event was one of two fundraisers held for the president that day. Tickets ranged from $250 to $5,000. Obama gave his speech in the heroes of the sky exhibit, which features suspended old fashion planes. Guests snacked on little sandwiches, cheese, crackers and veggie trays.
After his visit to the museum Obama arrived at the Bingham Farms home of Denise Illitch, the daughter of popular metro-Detroit billionaire Mike Illitch, who’s the owner of the Detroit Red Wings, Little Caesars Pizza empire and Detroit Tigers. Tickets for the exclusive gathering were purchased for $10,000-$40,000 a piece. A group of 47 people packed the drawing room at Illitch's home. Features in the home included a grand piano, a sweeping staircase leading to an overlook area and tables topped with gold-rimmed dishes, waterford crystal and centerpieces of purple hydrangeas and peonies.
Dinner included lamb, a sort of risotto, asparagus and sweet potatoes. Some of the guests included former Gov. Jim Blanchard, Southfield Attorney Geoffrey Fieger, former Tiger Willie Horton and ESPN commentator Jalen Rose. Illitch called Obama a champion, and thanked him for never forgetting or forsaking Michigan.