With the debt deal out of the way, President Obama is now shifting some of his focus to getting re-elected. In his hometown of Chicago last night, the President celebrated his 50th birthday, which is today, with an elaborate campaign fundraiser. The crowd sang "Happy Birthday" with the help of Jennifer Hudson and Herbie Hancock. Speaking to the crowd, the President expressed his frustration with the debt ceiling stalemate and vowed to focus on job growth. He said, "I hope we can avoid another self-inflicted wound like we just saw over the last couple of weeks. We don't have time to play these partisan games. We've got too much work to do....making sure that the economy is growing."
Former White House Chief of Staff and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was at the event to support President Obama. Earlier in the day, Emanuel was asked about a new Mitt Romney campaign video that uses Chicago as the back-drop to slam the President on the economy. The Mayor responded, saying the spot was hypocritical and adding that it was President Obama's tough decisions that put people back to work. He said, "1.2 million people today have a job because [the President] didn't listen to conventional wisdom drafted by then ex- Governor Mitt Romney, who suggested that Detroit, meaning the auto industry and all the related industrial base of America should just go bankrupt."
When asked if he was concerned about President Obama's poll numbers and fundraising efforts, Emanuel joked that he is "out of that business." His comments come after the White House announced yesterday that the President will conduct a Midwest bus tour to tout job creation later this month.