President Barack Obama sounded a nostalgic personal note Sunday night and offered a rare self-assessment while criticizing congressional Republicans as an “impediment” to governing during the start of a West Coast fundraising tour for the Democratic Party.

Obama told donors the sight of Mt. Rainier illuminated by a setting sun was particularly special because it reminded him of his mother, who attended high school in the Seattle area. “I feel the spirit of my mom,” he said.

He also attempted to contrast himself with Republicans who control the House of Representatives, saying they are “more focused on positioning themselves for the next election.”

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