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. Unions are Great

    If it werent for the unions we would all be slaves under the rightwing radicals run by big business.

    June 18, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  2. TCM

    @ Doug, New Jersey –

    Excellent comment, Doug....excellent....the truth is soothing, isn't it?

    June 18, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  3. Whatz up

    You know what?

    You folks complaining and attacking President Obama is truly laughable. George W. Bush didn't do JACK 319 days out of each year he was President. He read 200 books while President and spent the rest drinking himself into a drunken state at his Crawford Ranch!! Gee, when was Georgie WORKING? George W. Bush was even photographed DRUNK AS A SKUNK at the China Olympics while Laura Bush ignored his drunken state. Secret Service had to help this clown get out of his seat he was so drunk!!!

    But you clowns attacking President Obama have the nerve to complain about a President who is clearly MORE competent and educated when it comes to "multi-tasking" and dealing with a multitude of issues than your barely "C" average George W. Bush did in his entire 8 years while President.

    Whose the FOOL now? You guys are clearly ignorant in your attacks.

    This is your argument?

    June 18, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  4. Luke Brown

    Mr. President, here's a great fundraising idea... stop double crossing your base and maybe they will give more money.

    I couldn't believe that you never asked Sotomayor - a devout Catholic - about her views on Roe v. Wade. I was equally astonished at the recent Justice Department brief on same-gender marriage likening gay relationships to incest. That goes too far even for Dick Cheney.

    Yesterday I sadly pulled the Obama sticker off my car. During the primaries, Hillary said we really didn't where you stood on important social justice issues. Now I am sorry I didn't listen to her. This would not have happened if she had been elected..

    June 18, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  5. Lisa B

    To all you negative bloggers, our President is doing what every other President has done in office. So is it because he's black, that so many people is so critical of him. I am sick of all theses White bigotries voicing their negative comments. Your tax dollars have been spent and wasted for years so, now doesn't make a difference. If you think you can do better and that goes for anybody in the GOP, run in 2012 and see if you win. I doubt it very seriously because, you are the party of NO!!!!! No wins, no solutions, no ideas , no respect and most of all no business holding any position in office.

    June 18, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  6. Sniffit

    @ TCM, who said "I've defended this country"

    Irrelevant, "boy." That doesn't have anything to do with whether your policy positions are rational and reasonable, your analyses account for factual data and evidence or your understanding of the issues is comprehensive.

    June 18, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  7. RNC = DNC = politics as usual

    Obama is liberal-light. Not really bringing all the troops home from Iraq, not really for gay rights, not really anti-lobby, not really penalizing the banks and big corp donation friends, not really limiting green house gases, etc.

    But he really can rasie money! So there is one thing he is 100% clear on.

    June 18, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  8. TCM

    @Unions are Great - HAHAHAHAHA

    Unions are great, if you're the head of the UAW or Obama...

    Ask some union workers now, who worked themselves out of a job due to union rules..(i.e., $75/hr for tightening lug nuts, a job a 10yr old could do with 5 minutes of training)....ask those UNEMPLOYED union workers...from those closed down factories...if their union bosses are suffering the same economic woes they are? Is OBama suffering, perhaps clipping coupons to make ends meet? I'd say no...so, the unions, while protecting workers rights in the start, are about 40 yrs outdated, and have led to the destruction of the very jobs they were created to protect.....

    June 18, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  9. Claudia in Houson

    People who complain about the "massive debt" President Obama has placed upon the nation need to think. Lobbyist who contribute to the Republicans do so in the interest of big business, who in turn rob the federal government for billions of your tax payer dollars. President Obama is not giving them the chance to continue their practices by not accepting their money. Think about it.

    June 18, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  10. steven harnack

    i'm sure that the republicans are going to donate their 14 million to some needy communities or put it toward the national debt. and they seem to forget that whenever there was a crisis somewhere in the world bush was out of town. irrational comments by ignorant people seem to be cnn's favorites lately. their editing of posts makes this forum a joke.

    June 18, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  11. Will-South Dakota

    Thank God no PACS, Lobbyists or Special Interests are allowed to give money. Its a grassroots approach that Obama ushered in an it's working still. Gives a voice to us Out of Washington/rural America Folks who want our President to succede while the GOP wants to deny, delay and do nothing for America.

    June 18, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  12. Unions are the death knell for US in 21st Century

    The Unions are destroying this country from the inside out – local and state governments agre going broke under the cushy pension, wage, and health care deals; ditto for the federal governents. Teachers, firemen, and police are stealing cities and states blind. UAW is singlehandedly ending our auto industry. In our city, when a job is put out to bid by law the city has to pay union wage or above - that means that even if an american non union firm will do a project for say $25,000 the bids starts at $75,000 and go up from there. The lowest bid is not taken .... When we are all speaking french and servinig french fries and dumplings at MacDonalds to the Chinese who will own this country in a decase, we can thank the unions.

    June 18, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  13. rob

    guess he can forget getting money from the gay Americans that he made promises to and hasn't kept any...

    instead of asking for money how about keeping promise that he made . its time to give back , not to be asking for more of peoples money

    June 18, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  14. morefromLA

    What we have is a President (the best President of this century, but given the previous disaster that's not saying a whole lot) who doesn't treat the Presidency as a backdrop for a wild west movie. We have a President whose reading extends beyond "My Pet Goat." We have a President who is returning our nation to respect on the international stage and away from the shoot-em-first bunker mentality of the previously mentioned disaster. That's good enough for me. By the way have any of you free-falling right wingers been tracking the extraordinary growth of the Dow since Obama took office?

    June 18, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  15. TCM

    @Whatz up –

    Psst – here's a tip for you...research somewhere BEYOND Obama-based websites.....and if your mind allows you...wander way back to 9/11..remember those two big planes? Crashing into our buildings, killing our citizens? Remember?

    Now, fastforward to Jan 2009. Obama is ushered into the White House via "Affirmative ACORN...." Despite a good economy 6 of the 8 yrs, under Bush (last 2 were dem-controlled congress, thus the slide) ...and look...Bush passed on a budget underwater, and the country winning a war...to Obama. Already, Obama's deepened the debt by unGodly factors, and has endangered our soldiers abroad through his muslim brownnosing....and you say Bush did nothing?

    I'll take Bush's "nothing," over Obama's "something," anyday...because, Bush NEVER endangered my children and their future.

    June 18, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  16. MEL IN florida

    Thank you for your hard work. we rolling our sleeves and working hard for a better future. President Barack Obama thank you. we walking with you.

    June 18, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  17. Pat, CA

    Chris from NY June 18th, 2009 11:35 am ET
    Jealousy is the root of hatred. The Republicans are so jealous of Obama . .


    "Jealousy" - that's a good one, Chris from NY. To tell you the truth, there's NOTHING about Obama that I would want to be or have . . . so hang it up with your "jealousy" crap.

    But that's all you can do - throw around words like jealousy, hate, sore losers, etc - to explain YOUR position. How convenient! How utterly immature!

    June 18, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  18. I laugh at comrade Limbaugh daily

    Dont forget to get your daily talking lies from Rush today and faux news.I listen to more than one channel.Im not afraid of other view points.I know the truth because I watch news from around the world.

    June 18, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  19. Esco

    600,000 people were laid off, and this summer 600,000+ jobs will be created. How? On June 22 go to Serve.gov and people need to volunteer to help our stuggling fellow Americans to create jobs for them. Yes Obama is fundraising, and some of that money may go into catering for people in need. So why are people on this comment board complaining...go out and help if you want things to get better for you and for your people. I will be volunteering in my community, and will make sure i make the best of it.

    Go to Serve.gov on June 22!!

    June 18, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  20. Karine

    Obama is after all just an empty suit.
    America once again elected a President without leadership skills or experience and a great lack of knowledge of worldly affairs .
    Therefore , just like Bush , he is out of his depth when it comes to decision making.
    Obama loves his celebrity status and Maher got it right when he said , Mr. President stay in the White House and do some work.
    So far he hasn't..!!

    June 18, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  21. Mike

    He should put any money he raises on the national debt he has created and tried to blame on President Bush although with his popularity on his issues is below 50 percent even though his personal likability is still in the low 60's but it is coming down. They are forcasting unemployment will be at least 10.5 percent but probably closer to 12 percent by the end of the year. You betcha sounds just like jimmy carters four repeat only 04 years.

    June 18, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  22. lexthebomb

    We the taxpayers, can understand you the politicians, about having
    fundraisers; but, why not make US Savings Bonds more attractive to
    the working men and women, since our Secretary of Treasury just asked us "that now is the time for you to spend less and save more".
    It worked before, so why not try it again, this money will not be wasted.

    June 18, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  23. Jeremiah

    "Unions are great"- yeah you are right, they are fantastic, that's why they drove England into the hole in the 80's because they became too powerful. Another smart man.

    As for those of you who say people are bigots because they don't like Obama or they are racist. What a stupid argument, use your brain instead of crying racism every time some dislikes him. Are you racist because you didn't like Bush? (surprise people, it is possible to be racist against caucasian people too, but like YOU, i don't like Bush because he was a horrible president). People are entitled to like or dislike him based on his policies people. So far, I think Obama's just as worthless as Bush. Send both of them to Texas.

    June 18, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  24. TCM

    @Claudia in Houson –

    Hmmm...ok, thought about it...and you're wrong. Obviously an Obama supporter. That's your right....however, in the near future, you'll see and feel the sting of heavy taxation under Obama....the government was never designed to create wealth or jobs...Theodore Roosevelt's New Deal was one of the worst things to happen to this country and was the premise for the Nanny state that Obama's trying to nurture into being...do you really want the government controlling so much of your life? Are you really that helpless of a human that you want some politicians making your life altering changes for you? I'll bet your thinking about it...and you're not that kind of person, are you?

    June 18, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  25. Brian in AZ

    "Back on" the fundraising circuit? That gives the false impression that he at one point left it.

    I mean, doens't signing into law a trillion dollar gift to your political cronies count as "fundraising"?

    Or is it better termed "fraud"?

    June 18, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
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