Obama to Hollywood Donors: People Are Disenchanted With Politics

Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 03:43 PM

By Andrea Billups

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President Barack Obama told Hollywood donors gathered at a private home Thursday that most Americans don't have time to focus on the Benghazi scandal or problems associated with the rollout of his divisive healthcare law.

While some Republican lawmakers continue to make these an issue, many people have become disenchanted with the political discord, Obama added, speaking to a group of Democrats gathered at the home of "Scandal" producer Shonda Rhimes, where the show's  star, Kerry Washington, introduced him, The Washington Times reported.

"Over time, they start thinking, 'you know what, all politicians are the same.' And most folks don’t have the time to sort out all the intricacies of Obamacare or Benghazi, or this or that. They don’t have time for that," the president said. "All they know is it’s not working for them. And so people then pull out, and they drop out, and they don’t work. And that further entrenches those who are protecting an unjust status quo."

While international crises in the Ukraine and Israel continued to foment, the president continued a fundraising tour in Hollywood this week, seeking to generate money and support for Democrats ahead of 2014 midterm elections where many are seen as vulnerable, The Hollywood Reporter noted.

At the Rhimes event, where the star screenwriter, director, and producer joked that he was doing his job "like a boss," Obama jabbed at the GOP, noting that "the Republican Party has been taken over by people who just don't believe in government."

Obama invoked civil rights language to rally his Hollywood base, noting this was not the time for them to give up, as he sought their support for Democratic candidates.

"At each juncture, someone could’ve said, 'This is too hard,'" Obama said. "I’ve got two years left in this presidency. I want to get a whole bunch of stuff done."

Among those in attendance at the gathering, according to Variety, were singer Janelle Monae, who performed; Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz; Motown founder Berry Gordy; actress and producer Debbie Allen; and NBA star Jason Collins. Washington was also joined by her "Scandal" castmates Scott Foley and Tony Goldwyn.

Obama used his celebrity face time to tie the fictional series, which chronicles the presidency and inner workings of government, to the current climate there.

"The conflict that probably makes people most discouraged is the conflict they see in Washington, where members of Congress can’t seem to do anything; where all we hear about is gridlock, and all we hear about is posturing, and all we hear about are phony scandals."

He added: "No offense. 'Scandal' is a great show. But it’s not something that we necessarily want to be living out day in, day out."

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