President Barack Obama made his 2016 fundraising debut for the Democratic Party at a San Francisco fundraiser late Friday afternoon, saying he'll use his last two years in office to "squeeze every last little bit of change and improvement in the lives of ordinary Americans, middle class families, that I can."
Then he and a group of staff and friends went out for dinner in the city. The restaurant they chose: Spruce, which cultivates relationships with local farmers and ranchers and, according to its website, also features a "stunning Baccarat crystal chandelier," a dining room wrapped with "chocolate mohair walls," and faux ostrich chairs. The reporters traveling with the president were not invited in to see it for ourselves. We were escorted to a restaurant serving Latin comfort food down the street. The Spruce menu's offerings included local caviar, sturgeon and foie gras as well as this description of the decor:
Chef Mark Sullivan’s California-inspired American cuisine showcases the freshest and finest ingredients, highlighting seasonal produce and naturally raised meats, poultry and fish. House made charcuterie is a highlight, and the restaurant features an extensive selection of specialty cured meats which are also available in our Café to take home.
Upon entering Spruce, you will pass through the foyer, which leads you to one of our beautiful private dining rooms, the Library, and our Café, where a selection of Panini, seasonal salads, artisan coffees and fresh-baked giant cookies are offered to-go. Continue inside and you are welcomed by a stunning Baccarat crystal chandelier that hangs gracefully in the entryway. The dining room is wrapped with chocolate mohair walls, and is filled with faux ostrich chairs, creating a bounty of textures, creams, and browns. Whimsical charcoal sketches from the Parisian street artist “Bard” hang on the walls of our main dining room. Additionally, a rotating collection of art is hung throughout the various quarters of the restaurant. The bar and lounge area offers a casual yet sophisticated place to enjoy handcrafted cocktails, dishes from our bar menu, or a complete meal.
Earlier in the afternoon, Obama spoke to about 60 donors at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser at the home of tech investor Sandy Robertson, whose house atop Russian Hill boasts a spectacular view of Alcatraz. Robertson has Illinois roots, and spoke about how he's been an Obama supporter since Obama's 2004 Senate campaign. Though Robertson has backed both Bill and Hillary Clinton, Obama did not mention the Clintons in the brief remarks that his traveling press corps were invited to hear.
Here's what the president did say: "I've only got two years left. But two years is a long time. And two years is also the time in which we're going to be setting the stage for the next presidential election and the next 10 years of American policy. And so I intend to run through the tape and work really hard and squeeze every last little bit of change and improvement in the lives of ordinary Americans, middle class families, that I can."