June 18th, 2009
10:28 AM ET
9 years ago

President Obama back on the fundraising circuit

A glimpse of one of Obama's fundraising appearances as president.

A glimpse of one of Obama's fundraising appearances as president.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama will deliver the keynote address at a joint fundraiser tonight for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and its House counterpart, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee - the fifth time in six months he's used his presidential star power to boost his party's fundraising fortunes.

Since taking office in January, Obama has headlined two party fundraisers in the nation's capital, one in Beverly Hills, California, and another in Indianapolis, Indiana. While in Indiana, he also served as the main attraction at a fundraiser for that state's Democratic representatives. Last month, he gave the keynote address at a fundraiser in Las Vegas for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

As CNN reported earlier this week, sources familiar with the event say the dinner will raise around $3 million, which falls far short of a recent GOP congressional fundraiser headlined by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Spokesmen for the National Republican Congressional Committee and National Republican Senatorial Committee said $14 million was raised at that event, held earlier this month in Washington.

Still, the two fundraisers are difficult to compare because Democrats refused donations from registered lobbyists and political action committees for this dinner. Obama does not accept contributions from political action committees and lobbyists.

While lobbyists and their big bucks won't be around tonight, they and their personal donations will be welcome tomorrow morning at a Democratic event at the same hotel that is not subject to Obama's lobbyist restrictions.

One of the Democratic sources said that attendees at this week's fundraiser are primarily new donors, while the other source noted that the ban on lobbyist and PAC donations was a temporary measure for this dinner, and that those traditional contributors will continue to give to congressional Democrats.

Still, the sizable money gap raises questions as to why a popular president and the congressional Democratic majority were not able to pull in more money at a major fundraiser.

A year and a half before the 2010 midterm elections, the congressional campaign committees are aggressively seeking to raise money. In the latest Federal Election Commission disclosures, the DSCC was carrying a debt of $4.6 million with a cash-on-hand balance of more than $2.6 million; the DCCC was $7 million in debt, and had $4 million in the bank; the NRSC had $2.6 million in the bank and no debt; and the NRCC was $5 million in debt and had about $3.7 million cash-on-hand.

While the President speaks in prime time, Vice President Biden will kick things off earlier in the day, addressing the DSCC/DCCC fundraiser this afternoon.

- CNN's Paul Steinhauser and Mark Preston contributed to this report

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (126 Responses)
  1. Mississippi Mike

    He needs to figure out how to pay off the massive debt he's thrust upon our nation, not raise funds for the jerks who have been ruining our country.

    June 18, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  2. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Bring in the money dems.

    June 18, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  3. Enough

    Geez, Quit fund raising and get back to work! His job isn't professional campaigner...................well guess it actually is. All the money raised could have been put to better use.

    June 18, 2009 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  4. SnowBird

    Fundraising, golfing, dates with wife......PRICELESS. Maybe you could stay in DC and actually care about the nation instead of thinking up your next lie to have the sheep stay in line.

    June 18, 2009 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  5. GI Joe

    Repukes can get all the Insurance Companies and Oil Companies the want to contribute to their candidates.

    WE are the ones that will vote even more repukes out next year.


    June 18, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  6. katiec

    All donations from lobbyists and special interest groups should be banned for every politician, period.
    Am tired of their running our country.

    June 18, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  7. fella from Chicago

    God Bless you Barack. This is what you do best. Just please stay away from the WH where everything you touch turns to a larger deficit for my children and grandchildren to pay. Oh yes, those aren't firecrackers the North Koreans are playing with, they're nuclear bombs. Please pay closer attention to them before the South, Japan, and maybe even our West Coast goes up in flames.

    June 18, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  8. Hugo

    Doing what he does best, blowing hot air for dollars! Maybe Buffet, Gates, Soros and Oprah will pony up for some more. I hear the Saudi King has something for you but you have to bow!

    June 18, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  9. demwit

    608,000 Americans laid off last week, 6.7 million on the dole. And yet Obama is out fund raising for politicians while his liberal administation spends trillions we do not have. Progressive change you can believe in..

    June 18, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  10. Lori says polls will go up & down but Dems have nothing to worry about in 2010! Economic news is slowly getting better!

    Didn't the Republicans fall short on their fundraising total this year than from prior years? Hardly a success but I won't laugh because I feel sorry for them.

    President Obama should fundraise But who needs fundraising when you've got a Reagan-esqe President Obama on your side. In 2010, just pull a 'NY-20' for the Democrat candidate againts their Republican challengers, and voters will be reminded off the Democrats success and Republican failures.

    June 18, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  11. SLM

    Doing what he does best!! Amazes me that people hand over their hard earned dollars to any politician. Worse yet, you fall for the promises they make.

    June 18, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  12. Pee Wee

    Instead of fund raising for political power for his cronies, why not fund raise for the public.

    While lobbyists and their big bucks won't be around tonight, they and their personal donations will be welcome tomorrow morning at a Democratic event at the same hotel that is not subject to Obama's lobbyist restrictions.

    What's the use of having these laws if they are so easy to get around?

    Is it so politicians can be 'technically' correct when they say they haven't accepted lobbyist donations? I wish people would focus more on adhering to the spirit of the law than the letter, we'd all be much better off.

    There are really only ten laws we need, if we could all adhere to those, (which we can't) everything would work out quite while IMHO.

    June 18, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  13. girlymen love the GOP

    We will give lots of money.Even the people of Iran love the freedom they see they can also obtain with President Obama in charge of the U.S.A. and not that rightwing radical jihadist republican party in power.

    June 18, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  14. phoenix86

    I wonder if the NY Times, LA Times, CNN, ABC, and the rest will EDIT his speech before they write about it like they did when Obama spoke to the AMA and said that he wanted to use Single Payer as a basis for the US.

    How long will the media actively support the executive branch before they decide to go back to independent, objective journalism?

    June 18, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  15. MJM

    Someone really needs to tell this man that he is the president now and does not have to do anymore fund raising! He won, as much as I dislike that, he did win, SO BE A PRESIDENT NOW!!!!!!!!

    June 18, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  16. Sniffit

    Aaaaand, now you see why the GOP will continue to yammer on about socialism, fascism, 2nd Amendment gun rights, states' rights v. Constitutional mandates, abortion, "krischun nashun," anti-equal treatment of homosexuals, teabagging (funny juxtaposition those last two), taxes, spending and, ultimately, secession. The GOP base loves to get angry about how a Dem POTUS and Congress is spending their tax money and then spend their after-tax money on helping the GOP elect a POTUS and take over Congress so they can spend their taxes willy-nilly instead.

    So, if there's any question in your mind whether the GOP recognizes it's time to stop damaging itself in the opinion of the general public and stop damaging our nation's political system with its shenanigans, just remind yourself that they're more concerned with their fundraising....campaign wardrobes don't come cheap.

    June 18, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  17. Foreign observer

    Money makes the world go round ....

    June 18, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  18. gt

    if he could lead as well as he raises money this country would not be in the shape its in now,,,,, go to work for all the people mr prsident

    June 18, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  19. Annette

    Lobbyist will always be around, no matter who's President. So that's old news. The question is, what will Obama do about it. For e.g. seeing a piece of cheesecake, knowing you shouldn't have it , but it is there in your face. Does that mean you can't look at it.

    So far the President has balanced his promise on lobbyist and PAC's and we all should applaud that. Because we all know that balancing act is not easy, right CNN.

    June 18, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  20. VL- Chicago

    Shocker. He wants to tell his backers he will reward them like he did the Car Unions. He is a political monster who is ruining this country. Too bad the Obama nuts are so brainwashed, and never have read a history book. What a fraud!

    June 18, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  21. Fair is Fair

    If he's not spending, he's raising campaign cash. Or apologizing.

    June 18, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  22. Robin

    Here's an idea...STOP CAMPAIGNING and start working. Rumor has it a lot of Dems are getting sick of this man too.

    Would be real funny if he someone challenged him for the nomination for the next election.

    June 18, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  23. Tom Paine

    There's a change – another fundraiser.

    Obama hasn't done squat to change how Washington works.

    June 18, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  24. Proud Member..Party of No

    So George Soros has ordered Obama to go out and do some fundraising?

    June 18, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  25. Slider


    Over in Iran, the folks there are hoisting banners, signs and posters, not only in their native language, but in English.

    Who do you think they are trying to communicate with?

    Could it be the West?

    What is our President doing according to this little blurb?


    June 18, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
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