POLITICS

At fundraiser, Obama says Washington culture not yet changed

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WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama told financial supporters Monday that changing the culture of Washington is probably the biggest part of his agenda that remains unfinished but he would put his legislative record "up against any president in their first term."

"The challenge we have right now is fixing our politics. Making sure that we've got the kind of politics and governance here in Washington which is responsive to the needs of the people, not the needs of special interests, that brings out the best in us and not the worst in us," Obama said at a Washington, D.C., fundraiser.

"That is probably the biggest piece of business that remains unfinished. That's probably the area where we've been most stymied over the last three years. My legislative record, our administrative record, I'll put up against any president in their first term," he said.

Obama spoke at the home of Dwight Bush, the director of a financial advisory firm, and his wife, Antoinette Bush, a communications executive. Tickets for the fundraiser, which supports the Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee, started at $17,900 per person. About 45 people attended the dinner.

Obama has raised more than $150 million for his campaign and the DNC since launching his re-election campaign in April, giving him an early money advantage over his Republican opponents.

The president told donors that his administration has worked to reform Wall Street, end the war in Iraq and end the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, which forbade gay soldiers from serving openly.

"But in terms of changing the culture of Washington, the fever has not broken yet. Not everyone has gotten the word yet that this is not how the American people want their government to operate," Obama said.

Shortly before Obama left the White House, a District of Columbia police officer was struck along the presidential motorcade route on Connecticut Avenue at about 6:30 p.m. and sustained non-life-threatening injuries, police spokesman Paul Metcalf said.

Metcalf said he was trying to confirm whether an official or civilian vehicle struck the officer and whether the officer was directing traffic.

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