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Obama Wraps Up Fundraising Visit To Connecticut

President Barack Obama attended a fundraiser at the backcountry Greenwich home of Richard Richman and his wife, Ellen Schapps Richman.
President Barack Obama attended a fundraiser at the backcountry Greenwich home of Richard Richman and his wife, Ellen Schapps Richman. Photo Credit: File

GREENWICH, Conn. -- President Barack Obama finished up his two-hour whirlwind fundraising trip to Connecticut on Tuesday by taking off aboard his helicopter, Marine One, from the grounds of the darkened Greenwich Polo Club. 

Obama arrived the same way, kicking up dust at the Polo Grounds in the back country as his helicopter and three others set down at 5:09 p.m. Tuesday. Marine One landed on the same field where Britain’s Prince Harry played polo in April 2013. 

He was swept in his presidential SUV -- the pebble driveways would have scratched the paint job on his limousine -- to the nearby $26 million home of his hosts, real estate developer Richard Richman and his wife, Ellen Schapps Richman.

Reports from the White House press pool who were allowed inside the Richmans' estate in Conyers Farm gave the following account of the event. 

Those in attendance -- who numbered about 60 -- paid $10,000 to $32,400 per person for the privilege to attend. 

The money raised goes to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee as the party fights to keep its majority in the Senate in the November election. 

The president and the guests dined on a traditional Caesar salad, a petite filet mignon with a potato galette, roasted asparagus and a chocolate lava cake with fresh strawberries and homemade cookies. 

After dinner, Obama was introduced by Ellen Schapps Richman, who recounted the story of one of her MBA students at Pace University who turned down a bigger payday in the "real world" to work for U.S. Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado. 

Obama opened his remarks by thanking his hosts. "These guys have been supporters since way back before a lot of people could pronounce my name." He also joked that the family's dog, Spree, got hair on his suit. "But fortunately these days I travel with one of those rollers." 

Obama pointed to Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) at the head table and characterized him as a great young senator. 

In his remarks, the president touched on ISIS, the Ebola virus and his economic record.

"The world is going through tumultuous times. Every day there's a new challenge."  But on each issue, Obama said that America is indispensable. "They don't call Beijing and they don't call Moscow. They call us."

Grayer than when he appeared in the same dining room four years ago, the president said he understands the anxiety of Americans over the economy.

“So folks still feel as if no matter how hard they work, they don’t seem to be moving ahead," Obama said. "Most folks in this room are doing pretty well.”

The DSCC did not release a fundraising total for the dinner.

The president also took questions from the crowd, before leaving in his SUV. Obama returned to the Greenwich Polo Club, with Greenwich police blocking each driveway for the 3-mile stretch of North Street.

Marine One lifted off at 7:27 p.m., en route to John F. Kennedy International Airport. 

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