October 7th, 2010
10:40 AM ET
8 years ago

Obama Desperately Trying to Save His Own Senate Seat

(CNN) - Eager to prevent an embarrassing loss of his old Senate seat, President Obama is heading to Chicago Thursday for two fundraisers on behalf of Democratic Senate nominee Alexi Giannoulias, and CNN has learned Obama will be returning home yet again in the final days of the midterm election to try and help Giannoulias win a race that could determine who controls the chamber next year.

Two senior Democratic officials told CNN to expect Obama to return to Illinois at least one more time in the final few weeks of the campaign in order to go to bat for Giannoulias, who is locked in a virtual dead heat with Republican nominee Mark Kirk.

One Democratic official bluntly said Obama has no choice but to keep heading back to Illinois because "it's his seat" and the White House knows pundits will have a field day if the President's own Senate seat falls into Republican hands.

On Thursday night Obama will headline a fundraiser for Giannoulias at the famed Drake Hotel in Chicago. Then the President will attend a more exclusive dinner for high rollers at a private home on the North Side of the city.

Democratic officials said Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, who's also locked in a tough election battle, was miffed that Obama is not holding a fundraiser for him on this visit.

Instead the President chose to focus his time Thursday on Giannoulias, in part because of the symbolic value of his old Senate seat as well as the fact that every single Senate race could be the deciding factor in which party controls the chamber next year, which is why Democratic officials say Obama will be returning to his home state very soon.

First Lady Michelle Obama will also travel to Chicago next week to campaign for Giannoulias, yet another sign of just how aggressively the White House wants to keep this seat in Democratic hands.

Filed under: 2010 • Alexi Giannoulias • Illinois • Mark Kirk • President Obama
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Eager to prevent an embarrassing loss of his old Senate seat, President Obama....
    WOW CNN!!! Is THAT what the President actually SAID?! That he was "eager to prevent an embarrassing blah, blah"? Or is that just YOUR way of fueling the negative posts from the rabid right wing that are sure to follow this intro to your "story"?

    October 7, 2010 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  2. Riley

    It's hard to fathom how Obama's approval ratings could have fallen so fast. His disasterous economic policies are costing the dems many seats. OBAMA HAS BEEN SUCH A DISGRACE!!!

    October 7, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  3. Anonymous

    I like Obama. I want to see the Democrats retian control of Congress- but the Senate seat in Illinios belongs to the people of the state- not an individual. and even if it did- it hasn't been "his" for two years

    October 7, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  4. Haren

    We american does not have patiences, it will take more than 18 months to correct the problem created by republican for last 20 years.
    Government is not problem but guy like Glen beck who uses all good thing which govt, did for him when he wake up to go to sleep is nothing but ungreatful and Hippocrate.
    From break fast,lunch,dinner (good healthy) to clean air which he breath,clean water which he drink, to social security,medicare,pension,unemployment, transportation,police,fire fighter, school, energy all are provided to him by government.
    Just think about it if Social security and medicare managed by private co. with more than 5%admistrative cost and 30% profit.

    If righty on this blog does not know than please educate your self.
    it cost only less than .80% to run social security and medicare.

    October 7, 2010 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  5. Kate

    Go away Obozo we have had enough of your politics. You and your family could take an extended vacation and no one would miss you! Shouldn't you be working on unemployment, immigration etc. Because since you have been in office all I see is a healthcare the majority of americans didn't want but you shoved it down our throats. You did that for the welfare receipents who have been on welfare generation after generation and you dems like to keep them down. We want the illegals out of this country. Can you do something right!

    October 7, 2010 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  6. Proud2BeAmerican

    Not again–it's not Obama's seat any more than the one in Massachusetts was Ted Kennedy's. That seat belongs to the people of Illinois, and they'll decide who fills it.

    October 7, 2010 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  7. beth

    So? He's trying to save his old seat? Why shouldn't he?

    October 7, 2010 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  8. Bob in PA

    The campaigner in cheif is at it again.
    I want to know when the US will be reimbursed for all the campaign trips taken on behalf of others.

    October 7, 2010 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  9. barry

    I'm sure the President would hate it if his corrupt mob thug didn't get elected. Why what would happen to Illinois if there were actually good upstanding people elected to run the state instead of the Democrat thugs that have run it for years. Pathetic losers and this seat goes Republican like the majority of the House and Senate will.

    October 7, 2010 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  10. gt

    wow.. he is trying help banker who lost millions of his customers money who was bail out by the fdic,,,chicao politics at its best.....

    October 7, 2010 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  11. T'SAH from Virginia

    The Democrats will not LOSE Illinois – Period!!!

    DEMOCRATS – UNITE the BASE and believe in the FACT that we're on the right TRACK and we will win in November 2010!!

    This is T'SAH from Virginia and I approve this message!

    October 7, 2010 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  12. stufthis

    Kirk has lied about his military service and congressional bills he said he authored in congress. At every turn, he has voted against the American people. Since Kirk did not vote for health reform, the GI Bill, veterans benefits and Wall Street reform, he does not deserve to be elected.

    October 7, 2010 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  13. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    President Obama has done all the heavy lifting without the help of Republicans now they want to take us back. Wake up out there people, this is the 21st century, time to move forward.

    October 7, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  14. 26 Days until Socialism dies in the United States

    If Obozo has any pull it is in the land of corruption and union thugs. Nice to see he's supporting one of those dirty rotten greedy bankers for his old seat. He ran the bank into extinction so that makes him eminently qualified to head to DC so he can do the same for our country. VOTE AGAINST THIS FAILURE ILLINOIS!

    October 7, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  15. BING

    We can only Hope and Pray that OBAMA fails to save this seat. Illinois needs help – it doesn't need Obama's friends in Washington. We need someone who can help get Illinois out of the Mess that we are in.

    October 7, 2010 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  16. illinois nurse

    Crooks do stick together. In two years they will have plenty of time to shoot baskets.

    October 7, 2010 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  17. Steve

    It's not his seat! It belongs people of the district. Shades of Scott Brown...

    October 7, 2010 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  18. Ryan

    Dear Mr. President –
    Please stop wasting time and money on trying to save your OLD senate seat and get back to your NEW seat in your NEW office to focus on your NEW job, which, in case you have forgotten, is to be our President.

    October 7, 2010 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  19. Former Republican - Now Independent

    It's NOT HIS Seat!!!!

    That seat belongs to the voters of Illinois!

    Obama just sat in it for a few years until a cushier seat became available.

    October 7, 2010 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  20. Bob Tester

    Good luck to all the dem senators.

    October 7, 2010 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  21. jimmy

    Do your thing obama and keep up the good work

    October 7, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |

    OBAMA better be more concerned with his Oval Office. If he hasn't felt how slick it's getting he soon will. After the Nov elections even his dumb ass should be getting the message. No more OBAMA and no more Democrats.

    October 7, 2010 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  23. stevegee

    Save his own seat? What about saving our country? Obama and the Democrats have already piled too much of their leftist ideology onto the backs of our citizens, including ObamaCareless, Stimulust, Cap-and-Tax, Czars out the wazoo, and soon the largest tax hike in history. Plus, 70 Democrat members of Congress are also members of The Socialist Party of America. We cannot afford any more of their “change.” Otherwise, we won’t live in the land of the free, but the home of the enslaved.

    On November 2nd, vote for the American principles of freedom and liberty, vote Conservative, vote Republican.

    October 7, 2010 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  24. dontknow

    That is quite pathetic.....

    October 7, 2010 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  25. Fair is Fair

    Obama's seat going Republican would be sweet indeed.

    My day was made when I saw the polling from Florida showing Grayson getting 36% right now. Not much would be better than seeing that sorry excuse clearing out his office. Sending Webster another donation with a smile on my face.

    Don't worry, Grayson... there's an opening at MSNBC to go fetch Big Macs for Ed Schultz.

    October 7, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
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