President Obama’s motorcade passed through 23rd Street, the location of Saturday night’s bombing, and slept in Manhattan Sunday night — but he still hasn’t made any public remarks on the attack in Chelsea.
Instead, Obama’s first stop in New York City Sunday night was at the Gramercy Park home of restaurateur Danny Meyer and actress Audrey Meyer to attend a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Obama talked about the importance of this election — “the most important election of our lifetime” — and discussed why he believes Clinton is failing to run away with it.
“[T]his should not be a close election, but it will be,” Obama claimed. “And the reason it will be is not because of Hillary’s flaws, but rather because, structurally, we’ve become a very polarized society. And if all you’re doing is watching Fox News and listening to Rush Limbaugh and reading some of the blogs that are churning out a lot of misinformation on a regular basis, then it’s very hard for you to think that you’re going to vote for somebody who you’ve been told is taking the country in the wrong direction. And so, structurally, we already have these divisions and it’s going to be hard to overcome those.”
Obama also raised the possibility that sexism has been holding Clinton back.
“I will also say that there’s a reason why we haven’t had a woman president; that we as a society still grapple with what it means to see powerful women. And it still troubles us in a lot of ways, unfairly, and that expresses itself in all sorts of ways,” Obama claimed.
Obama has not publicly mentioned the Chelsea blast, the St. Cloud, Minnesota, mall attack Saturday night or the New Jersey bombings during a Marine Corps charity run Saturday.
After about an hour at the Meyers’ home, Obama headed to the Lotte New York Palace hotel, where he’s staying while attending this year’s United Nations General Assembly.
Obama has a Democratic fundraiser Monday morning, followed by afternoon meetings with Premier Li Keqiang of China and Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi of Iraq.
Obama is scheduled to return to Washington, DC, on Wednesday.