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Net Net: Promoting innovation and managing change

Wall Street still hearts Obama

Wall Street looks ahead to Hillary
Wall Street looks ahead to Hillary

President Barack Obama's approval rating may have hit a new low, but he still attracted big-money Democrats at a Manhattan fundraiser to benefit his political party.

Blackstone Group President and Chief Operating Officer Hamilton "Tony" James hosted Obama on Tuesday night at his Fifth Avenue home for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

The event cost $32,400 to attend, and wealthy investors were featured prominently.

The group, according to a person in attendance, included: Jim Simons, the retired founder of hedge fund firm Renaissance Technologies; Roger Altman, founder of investment bank Evercore; Eric Mindich, head of hedge fund firm Eton Park Capital Management; Orin Kramer, head of hedge fund firm Boston Provident; Bill Rudin, chief executive officer of real estate investor Rudin Management; and Bill Mulrow, Blackstone's senior managing director for investor relations and business development.

Representatives for the attendees did not respond to requests for comment or declined.

Others at the fundraiser included Mayor Bill de Blasio, the city's first lady Chirlane McCray, and First Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris.

(Read more: Goldman, SAC among de Blasio's Wall Street backers)

"There are some things I can't do by myself. Congress has the power of the purse. We cannot deal with infrastructure on the levels we need to without Congress," Obama said, according to remarks released by the White House on Wednesday morning. "I can do some things on immigration, but I cannot make sure that we have an immigration system that potentially could grow our economy by an extra trillion dollars without Congress' help."

"And so that's why all of you are here today. My argument is very simple: Tony is right—we have all the cards we need for America to compete," he added.

"And when you travel outside this country, what's always remarkable to me is the degree to which people view us still with envy with respect to our economy. They marvel at our resiliency. They marvel at our dynamism. They marvel at low natural gas prices—they really marvel at that. They marvel at the degree to which we can attract talent from around the world. They marvel at our university system, which is unmatched. But to realize all our potential that's sitting there right now, we've got to have a Washington that functions better."

The event was Obama's second of the evening. Hours earlier, he appeared at the home of venture capital investor Alan Patricof at a fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee. The Greycroft founder's event also cost a reported $32,400 to attend.

Obama's job approval fell to 41 percent in March from 43 percent in January, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll. The rating marks a low for the president.

(Read more: Democrats more vulnerable ahead of elections: NBC/WSJ poll)

By CNBC's Lawrence Delevingne. Follow him on Twitter @ldelevingne.