Yesterday, June 4, Broadway veterans united for a fundraiser with President Barack Obama and special guest President Bill Clinton at the New Amsterdam Theater, titled- BARACK ON BROADWAY. Featuring direction by George C. Wolfe, the event was hosted by Margo Lion, Thomas Schumacher, Michael David, Lauren Mitchell, Roger Berlind, and Paul Boskin. Rob Berman was music director and John Guare acted as script consultant.
The line-up of performers included: Megan Hilty, Cheyenne Jackson, James Earl Jones, Tony Kushner, Nina Arianda, Kerry Butler, Norbert Leo Butz, Bobby Cannavale, Stockard Channing, Angela Lansbury, Patti LuPone, Audra McDonald, Mandy Patinkin, and Jeffrey Wright.
The White House website has released the following transcript from the evening:
PRESIDENT CLINTON: Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for being here to ensure the reelection of President Obama and Vice President Biden. I thank you very much. (Applause.)
You know, I was worried about getting half a step slow doing this because my whole life is my foundation now. I’m a little rusty at politics. (Laughter.) But this is my -- wait, wait, wait. This is my third event tonight where I am the warm-up act for the President. (Applause.) So I am about to get my steps down and my rhythm going, you know?
Here’s what I want to say. Your presence here tonight is important. Your support is important. And perhaps, most important of all, your willingness to leave here and talk to people about this election not just in New York but all across this country is profoundly important. (Applause.) Because I’ve found there’s a lot of murkiness out there. So let me just be as simple as I can. I don't think it’s important to reelect the President; I think it’s essential to reelect the President -- if we want this country to go in the right direction. (Applause.)
And I want to explain why.
I know things are not perfect now. I know they're a little slow now. But let me just remind you that when the President took office a little over three years ago, in the month he took the oath of office we lost 800,000 jobs. Starting on September the 15th, we entered the deepest crash since the Great Depression. If you look at history, those things take five or 10 years to get over, and if there’s a housing collapse along with it, closer to 10 years. He’s on schedule to beat that record.
And so we have to go out to people who are still hurting, who are still uncertain, and who hear the airways full of contradictory assertions, and basically give them the facts. And here they are: In the last 27 months, this economy has created 4.3 million private sector jobs. (Applause.) That is -- to give you some perspective on how many that is, that's 60 percent more private sector jobs that were created in the seven years and eight months of the previous administration before the financial meltdown -- (applause) -- and about the same number per month as were created during the time I had the honor of serving.